Roadwork at the Spanish-era bridge in Laoag stopped

LAOAG CITY — A government road widening project that threatens a three-arched Spanish-era bridge in Barangay Barit, Laoag City has been stopped for the meantime.

Provincial Tourism Officer Aianree Raquel, said on Friday a technical working committee meeting was conducted to discuss the issue.

“We have been assured by our top cultural agencies that they will send experts to assess the damage done and determine actions to be taken,” Raquel said referring to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the National Historical Commission of the Philippines and the National Museum to intervene in light of an appeal from heritage advocates to preserved the structure.

Fr. Ericson Josue of the Diocese of Laoag said the “Puente de Barit” is among the heritage structures in the province, which must be preserved.

As of this posting, road workers already placed ‘road safety’ barricade at the Barit bridge as they temporary stopped the construction.

Republic Act 10066 or the so-called National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009 mandates all concerned agencies, such as the Department of Public Works and Highways, to consult, coordinate and work closely with the NCCA and other national cultural agencies regarding any construction, renovation, retrofitting or demolition activities affecting the integrity of historical and cultural sites and structures under its jurisdictions.