Luneta has long been one of the most famous places, When in Manila. Recently, it has been in the center of debates due to a condo project which has been criticized by many. This week, the Manila City Council has decided to halt the project.
Luneta Condo Project Halted
Luneta is said to be threatened by the building permit of a 41-storey condominium project; hence, councilors from the country’s capital city has finally suspended the project.
In a resolution written by Councilor Don Juan Bagatsing, the city council said DMCI Homes’ controversial condominium project violates a zoning ordinance.
Luneta boasts of the monument in honor of Jose Rizal, and the council ruled that national monuments such as that should be protected because of their cultural and historical significance.
In a separate statement, however, Councilor Bagatsing explained their ruling on the condo project does not mean they are against development.
“Development does not mean how high your buildings are. It should find a harmony and balance with cultural and historical heritage,” he said.
Earlier, an online petition was spearheaded by Manila tourism consultant Carlos Celdran urging Manila Mayor Erap Estrada to suspend Torre de Manila’s building permit to protect Luneta. As of posting, the petition has now gotten over 8,000 signatures.
You might remember Celdran as the gutsy man put behind bars for “offending religious feelings” after he stood in front of Manila Cathedral’s altar dressed like Rizal with a placard with the word “Damaso” on it.
Padre Damaso is of course a character from Rizal’s novel Noli Me Tangere, who embodied the abuses of friars during the Spanish occupation in our country.
Celdran is also a tourguide, conducting walking tours of Old Manila.