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Inquirer: "Silay in Negros Passes Landmark Tourism Ordinance"

The work of one of our principals, Mark Evidente, was reported out by the Philippine Daily Inquirer in an article by EA Sembrano on November 23, 2015. It covers the annual Heritage Conservation Summit, at which Mark serves as Secretary and Counsel. Excerpts from the article:

The summit, themed “Incentives for Conservation and Adaptive Reuse,” was organized by the Heritage Conservation Society (HCS) with the HCS Youth, City of Silay, Metrobank Foundation and Ayala Land, through the assistance of Silay City council’s committee on culture and heritage chair Neil Solomon Locsin, HCS president Ivan Henares and HCS board trustee Ivan Man Dy.

Mark Evidente, HCS secretary, explained giving incentives for heritage conservation was “to recognize that maintaining an older structure takes a lot of time, a lot of effort, money, passion.”

“If our laws, our government recognize that our heritage, our culture is worth protecting, then we have to adopt laws that help support people to make choices in favor of heritage,” said Evidente.

He cited as examples Iloilo and Silay.

“If we can imagine, for example, that an entire street will be maintained according to [proper] architectural design, then it helps the LGU preserve its identity, helps the LGU stand out and, in turn, promotes itself,” he added.

The preservation of heritage structures in Silay “helps define their history” and “adds to the identity of the community.”

Apart from real-estate tax exemption or discount for declared heritage structures, HCS has also proposed financial grants for restoration of declared public and private properties; technical assistance for restoration and conservation, as well as new construction in heritage zones and properties; and the transfer of development rights which will restrict high-rise buildings in heritage zones.

*Photo by Mark Evidente


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