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Anda Circle stays – DPWH exec

Amid staunch opposition from historical conservationists, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said that it will no longer pursue plans to demolish the historic Anda Circle located in Port Area, Manila.

This was confirmed by Melvin Navarro, director of DPWH office in Metro Manila, who said that plans to remove the monument of Simon de Anda, a 1770 Spanish Basque governor of the Philippines, and the surrounding promenade and convert it into an intersection with traffic lights have now been shelved.

HISTORY PREVAILS – The obelisk which stands to honor Spanish Basque Philippine Governor Simon de Anda (1770 to 1776) and its surrounding promenade will remain untouched after the DPWH abandoned plans to convert the round-about area in Port Area, Manila into an intersection after receiving pressure from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and Senator Pia Cayetano. (Manny Llanes)

HISTORY PREVAILS – The obelisk which stands to honor Spanish Basque Philippine Governor Simon de Anda (1770 to 1776) and its surrounding promenade will remain untouched after the DPWH abandoned plans to convert the round-about area in Port Area, Manila into an intersection after receiving pressure from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and Senator Pia Cayetano. (Manny Llanes)

Navarro added that the Anda Circle will remain as a roundabout on Bonifacio Drive.

 “We would no longer touch that,” Navarro said in an interview.

When asked to elaborate if his statement means DPWH would drop the project, he replied: “I think so…That proposal is dead.”

Navarro attributed the decision of DPWH to abandon its plan to the staunch critics of the demolition of the heritage site, particularly the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and Senator Pia Cayetano.

“Why should we fight over the project?” the DPWH official said.

Two years ago, the DPWH announced its plan to demolish the historic Anda Circle to ease traffic in the area brought by truck trailers carrying containers to and from the Manila ports.

Navarro said they wanted to turn the structure into an intersection because the Anda Circle has become too narrow and not suitable for large cargo trucks.

But now that the DPWH, whose main office is located just a few meters from the Circle, will no longer implement the project, Navarro said that he would instead seek clearance from Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson to carry out the concreting of the roads leading to and from the Anda Circle next year.

“When the rainy season comes, it will destroy the Anda Circle. This is only made of asphalt. Its base is weak,” he said.

The DPWH has initially started the upgrading and concreting of the southbound lane of Bonifacio Drive, from Delpan Birdge to Anda Circle, with a budget of P48.21 million while P50 million was allocated for the repair works of its northbound and southbound lanes, from Anda Circle to 2nd Street.

M.R Vargas Construction is the project contractor.