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Palace says proposed Binondo-Intramuros bridge won’t affect World Heritage status of San Agustin Church

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By Prince Golez

Malacanang has assured the construction of the Binondo-Intramuros Bridge will not encroach on the buffer zone prescribed for the San Agustin Church, a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site.

“I was listening in the news story yetsreday that the contractor is saying that it will not. So, we do not exactly whether or not it will. Because if it will, then certainly it is right to object,” said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Thursday.

Panelo made the statement after the UNESCO warned that its construction may cause the delisting of the Church of the Immaculate Conception of San Agustin in Manila, the Church of La Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion in Santa Maria, Ilocos Norte, the Church of Sain Augustine in Paoay in Ilocos Norte, and the Church of Saanto Tomas de Vilanueva in Miag-ao, Iloilo, from the World Heritage Site.

The four edifices were collectively known as the “Baroque churches of the Philippines.”

The Binondo-Intramuros Bridge construction can be relocated some “100 meters away” so it won’t affect the buffer zone of the historic structure, said Panelo.

He said the Duterte administration will not allow such intrusion “because (the Church) is a World Heritage. It’s part of our history.”

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