The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) has stopped the demolition of the old American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) building in Manila’s Binondo district, the latest in a string of heritage issues involving cultural properties in this Chinese-Filipino enclave.
“Under RA (Republic Act) 10066, the old American Chamber of Commerce building is a presumed important cultural property and must be protected from any demolition or modification,” reads part of the letter dated Aug. 10, 2017, by NHCP acting executive director Ludovico Badoy to the Elite Landstream Inc. (ELI).
Badoy added that whatever changes that need to be done on the structure must either be consulted with the NHCP or the National Museum.
The NHCP ordered ELI to suspend the demolition and submit a development plan to be reviewed by the commission.
“Furthermore, please be informed that unauthorized demolition of an important cultural property is penalized under Section 48 and 49 of RA 10066,” said Badoy.
The structure located on the corner of Burke and Dasmariñas Streets and could either be the Gibbs or People’s Bank building was constructed before World War II and used to be the headquarters of Amcham from 1945 to 1946. —CONTRIBUTED