Despite the initial backlash, it’s still all systems go for the construction of the China-funded Intramuros-Binondo Friendship bridge, according to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
There are fears that the new bridge will bulldoze its way through heritage sites in Manila including the San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila. The church was built during the Spanish colonial period and was designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993.
The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) Philippines said that if portion of the San Agustin Church is destroyed because of the construction of the bridge, it may cause the removal of one of the Baroque Churches of the Philippines from the UNESCO list.
Continued Dialogue with Concerned Sectors and Stakeholders
Although they are proceeding with the construction of the bridge, DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said that they are still in open communication with various sectors and stakeholders such as the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
As of now, Intramuros was listed by the NCCA in the Philippines’ Tentative List for future declaration as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Once built, the P4.2-billion bridge funded by the Chinese through the current administration’s Build, Build, Build program is said to ease traffic in Manila specifically in Jones Bridge and Delpan Bridge.