[Sunstar Pampanga] Limlingan: No sense of history

Limlingan: No sense of history
The Advocate
October 15, 2019

IF THE proposed New Manila International Airport project in Bulakan, Bulacan be pushed through, it shall destroy valuable historical and cultural sites in the said province. This is the cry of the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) which is currently urging the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) to make a stand and oppose the said project.

While the said project has its noble intention of helping decongest Metro Manila and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the said project entails a lot of issues on history, safety and the environment.

In addition, road congestion will be diverted and experienced in the said province as the present way to the NAIA will somehow be decongested. It’s like putting the problem of congestion is some other parts of the country and not actually solving it.

On safety, the said area of Bulacan province is a coastal area where the land is said to be sinking due to the rising level of seawater. Once the said aerotropolis is built in place, it shall affect the elevation of the area since it will be made a busy place where vehicles be made aplenty including heavyweight airplanes pounding the land.

The said airport is planned to be built through reclamation. If pushed through the liquefaction of land is very imminent as experts project and believe so.

The Bulacan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) has included the Bulakan town as part of flood-prone area on their Hazard and Vulnerability Map and an area that is vulnerable to storm surges, high tide and flood due to ponding. Imagine an airplane being washed away by giant storm surges.

On the historical and cultural aspect meanwhile, heritage churches, the memorials of Marcelo and Gregorio Del Pilar are threatened to be displaced with the said project. None other than the NHCP in 2017 placed the historical marker at a church and a monument at the tomb of Gregorio. Both Del Pilars are heroes of the Philippine Revolution against Spain and the American colonizers.

The Battle of Spain and Britain made the said area a battleground as history books would tell. This makes the town a very important historical site that deserves protection against desecration.

Development in the wrong place makes us lose our sense of history. Since the time of various colonizers in the country, we have carved in the annals of our history various events, made a lot of historical figures and consecrated a lot of places that forms part of who we are as Filipinos.

While we need to entertain development in our country, we should also learn to look back in our past and not forget it. We have lots of heroes we revere, yet we tend to forget them except during their death anniversaries and because of the declarations of non-working holidays.

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