Culture

PLDT Wants NCCA to Remove the Cojuangco Building as an Important Cultural Property

It was designed by National Artist for Architecture Leandro V. Locsin.
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We might see some changes to the Ramon Cojuangco Building on the corner of Dela Rosa street and Makati Avenue soon. The Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) Inc. recently filed a petition with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) to remove the said structure as an Important Cultural Property (ICP).

Inaugurated in 1982, the Ramon Cojuangco Building was designed by National Artist for Architecture Leandro V. Locsin and was commissioned by PLDT in 1974. It serves as the company's main headquarters to this day.

PLDT writes in the petition that the building "does not demonstrate exceptional cultural, artistic, and historical significance. Thus it cannot be regarded as an ICP." The telecommunications and internet service provider also says that it plans to "redevelop and transform [the structure] into a modern, ecologically sustainable and open campus-type headquarters."

The commission had posted this notice on its official Facebook page last May 17. 

Photo by FACEBOOK/NCCA.
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It also argues that the RCB doesn't represent Locsin's body of work and is "considerably different" from the national artist's distinctive style. The building is described as "generic, nondescript, and purged of any references to local culture, tradition, climate, or identity of the place."

The petition also referenced Republic Act 10066, which defines ICP as “a cultural property having exceptional cultural, artistic, and historical significance to the Philippines as shall be determined by the National Museum and/ or National Historical Institute.”

Works by national artists are covered by the said act, as well. RA 10066 is meant to protect declared ICPs against exportation, modification, or demolition. Before PLDT moves forward with its plans, it must get approval to remove the building's status as ICP from the NCCA.

The commission encourages the public to express their support or opposition to the petition through email until June 7.

Click here to download a copy of the notice, petition, and annexures.

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