DPWH scraps plans to move Anda Monument

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has scrapped its earlier plans to move the historic Anda Monument in Manila to make way for an intersection with traffic lights to free up traffic flow in the port area.

DPWH-National Capital Region director Melvin Navarro said the monument, the centerpiece of the Anda Circle, will remain at its present site at Bonifacio Drive in Manila. (FAST FACTS: The Anda Monument)

He cited the staunch opposition of heritage conservationists, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and Senator Pia Cayetano to the planned transfer of the monument to ease traffic congestion in the area.

“Why would we fight over the project?” Navarro said.

In 2014, the DPWH announced its plan to move the monument and turn Anda Circle into an intersection, saying the present structure is too small for bigger and longer cargo trucks passing the area.

The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) also agreed with the planned transfer, saying the monument would be safer somewhere else.

"We agreed to the transfer to protect the monument because of heavy vehicle flow in the area. If even just one car goes off course, it could damage the monument," NHCP chair Maria Serena Diokno said in September 2014.

She added that the NHCP had recommended the transfer of the monument to Maestranza Plaza inside Intramuros.

With the DPWH proposal now scrapped, Navarro said there are now plans to improve the roads leading to and from Anda Circle.

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

The public works department has allocated P48.21 million for the concreting of the southbound lane of Bonifacio Drive, from Del Pan Bridge to Anda Circle. Meanwhile, P50 million has been set aside to repair the northbound and southbound lanes from Anda Circle to 2nd Street.

The monument was created in honor of Simon de Anda y Salazar, who served as the 41st governor general of the Philippines from 1770 to 1776. It was built in recognition of his initiative in the resistance against the British occupation of Manila in 1762, way before he served as governor general. – Rappler.com