Home>News>Metro>Rep. Chua proposes declaring Quiapo a ‘National Heritage Zone’, bill welcomed by Manila officials, barangays

Rep. Chua proposes declaring Quiapo a ‘National Heritage Zone’, bill welcomed by Manila officials, barangays

National Heritage Zone
Mayor Honey Lacuna expresses support for the proposed bill filed in Congress by Rep. Chua, declaring Quiapo as a national heritage zone.(JERRY S. TAN)

Manila officials and barangay chairmen welcomed a landmark proposal filed in Congress, seeking for Quiapo to be declared as a ‘National Heritage Zone.’

Under the proposal as contained in House Bill 3750 and which was filed by Manila third district Representative Joel Chua , the zone would cover the immediate environs of Quiapo Church, Plaza Miranda, San Sebastian Church and Plaza del Carmen and is aimed at the restoration of their infrastructures, preservation of its culture and the rehabilitation of the community as a whole.

The new heritage zone, as proposed, would “not just create jobs, but help uplift the reputation of the city in the Philippines and in the world.”

“For many reasons, Quiapo has become a household name, a landmark, and a symbol for many Filipinos. The name “Quiapo” was derived from the word kiyapo. It is a species of floating water lily with thick, light-green leaves, similar to a tiny, open cabbage. At around the early 1600s, the galleon trade increased the population of Chinese migrants who exchanged their silk and other products near Quiapo,” the congressman noted.

Indeed as a true-blue “Batang Quiapo, ” Rep. Chua, who is vice-chairman of the Committee on Metro Manila Development and member of the Committee on Housing and Urban Devlopment, filed the proposed bill right on his birthday last August 17, saying it was his way of showing how grateful he is to Quiapo and its citizens who have helped him become what he is today, a public servant who is able to help his very own district. Before becoming Congressman, Chua also served as Manila third district City Councilor for three straight terms.

“Towards the next century, Quiapo transformed into a wealthy suburb. It boasted stately homes, the most beautiful street in Manila (R.Hidalgo), the loveliest park in Manila (Plaza del Carmen), and the most spacious public market in Manila (Mercado de la Quinta) (Andrade),” Chua, a lawyer and urban poor advocate, said.

In the said proposed bill, the Quiapo National Heritage Zone is to be bounded on the west by Evangelista Street, wrapping around the properties surrounding Quiapo Church and Plaza Miranda; on the north by rear property lines of buildings facing Escaldo Street and F. R. Hidalgo Street, continuing northwest along the rear property lines of buildings facing San Sebastian Street and northeast along Recto Avenue.”

“The zone’s east is to be bounded by the side property lines of the San Sebastian College complex and Plaza del Carmen and on the south, following the south bank of the Estero de Quiapo and wrapping around the rear property lines of buildings facing Hidalgo Street and A. Bautista Street,” the bill stated.

“The Quiapo Heritage Zone shall be accorded priority development by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and other concerned departments and units and shall be subject to the rules and regulations governing the development of national heritage zones,” Chua further proposed in his bill. The third district of Manila which is being represented by Chua in Congress covers the Northern Manila Districts of Binondo, Quiapo, San Nicolas and Santa Cruz.

The Department of Tourism, in partnership with the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), other government agencies concerned and the City Government of Manila, shall be tasked to prepare the development plan within one year after the bill is approved, as well as take charge of the necessary construction and/or improvement of roads and other infrastructure,

The plan involves “the restoration, rehabilitation conservation and/or maintenance of such appropriate facilities which shall enhance the area…ensure the preservation of the cultural heritage and the historical significance of the identified area.” Funding shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act and/or charged against the internally generated funds of the DOT.

Mayor Honey Lacuna said she welcomes the proposal specially since it comes at no cost to the city.

Among others, Mayor Honey said she wants the area which had become famous for native goods, to be revived and for tourists, both foreign and local, to once again troop there and patronize our very own products.

According to her, the city’s Department of Tourism headed by Charlie Dungo has been helping in designing the new zone.

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