Duterte signs law creating cultural center, museum in CDO

Gaston Park in Cagayan de Oro City. In the background in the century-old water tower which has served as the repository of the city’s historical artifacts. MindaNews file photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 27 May) — President Rodrigo Duterte signed this week Republic Act 11771 or An Act Establishing A Cultural Center and Museum in Cagayan de Oro City. 
Cagayan de Oro Representative and House Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez said these would serve as “institutional medium for the collection, preservation and enhancement” of Cagayan de Oro’s heritage and history.
“I am very thankful to President Duterte for acting upon this measure that I authored and filed in 2021,” Rodriguez, the principal author of the law, said.
Duterte  also signed Republic Act 11770 creating the Kalinga Cultural Center and Museum in Kalinga province, and Republic Act 11772 creating the Biliran Cultural Center and Museum in Biliran province.
The president signed the three laws last May 24.
Rodriguez said the budget for the construction of the cultural center and museum would come from the current annual budget of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
He said the succeeding budget would be included in the General Appropriations Act.
“The local government of Cagayan de Oro is also mandated to provide the land for the construction of the cultural center, museum and offices,” he added.
Presently, the city’s main repository for its heritage and historical artifacts is the 100-year old water tower located beside the Archbishop’s House, in front of Gaston Park.
Constructed in 1921 during the American occupation of the Philippines, the water tower is the oldest public structure in the city.
Jesus Christopher Salon of the City Museum said the water tower was used as a reservoir for water coming from the mountains to Cagayan de Oro then known as Cagayan de Misamis.
He said old photographs of Cagayan de Oro as well as some archeological finds are stored in the structure’s three floors. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)