Establishment of the Intramuros Administration

establishment of the intramuros administration
Establishment of the Intramuros Administration (IA) | @rebirth.manila

Establishment of the Intramuros Administration

On April 10, 1979, Presidential Decree 1616 was signed, creating the Intramuros Administration.

It was created in order to facilitate the orderly restoration and development of Intramuros.

The construction of the Palacio del Gobernador Condominium in 1975 alarmed heritage advocates. This led to the creation of an agency that will protect Intramuros and regulate future developments in the walled city.

Featured in the old logo of Intramuros Administration was the Puerta de Isabel II.

Intramuros Administration was established in 1979 by virtue of Presidential Decree 1616, signed on April 10.

Intramuros after World War 2 were a wasteland. The district was gradually reoccupied by informal settlers, warehouses, and other modern constructions, with no regard for the history of the place.

Restoration work in some areas did commence in the post-war years, starting with Fort Santiago in the 1950s, and later expanding to include the Gates in the 1960s.

In 1975, Jaime C. Laya, then Central Bank Governor, saw the construction of a new condominium at the very heart of the walled city – the Palacio del Gobernador Condo. Being a cultural advocate, he approached President Marcos in order to stop the construction since the condo will dwarf the Manila Cathedral. But the Landbank of the Philippines insisted that construction must continue since a lot had been invested into the building. Marcos allowed the construction to continue, limiting the height of the tower to 8 floors, as opposed to the planned 13 floors. He then tasked Laya with crafting a law that will protect Intramuros. This law would become PD 1616.

Today, IA continues to manage Intramuros, autonomous from the City of Manila (although the Mayor is a member of the board, along with other agencies). A lot of challenges continue to beset Intramuros but one must remember that the task of reconstructing an obliterated historic district repopulated in the past 70 years in the midst of Manila’s urban decay is a daunting task in itself.

The Intramuros Administration this year is 43 years old.

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