A lawmaker Monday called on the government to restore and protect the Ifugao rice terraces from rapid deterioration.
Sen. Loren Legarda said the Ifugao rice terraces, which has been dubbed as the Eighth Wonder of the World and included in the World Heritage List in 1995 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), is now included in the list of the world’s most endangered heritage sites.
Legarda said the Philippine Rice Research Institute’s (PRRI) recent discovery of worms harming the rice seeds contributes to the terraces degradation.
“The PRRI discovered that worms were damaging the roots produced by germinated rice seeds aside from eroding the terraces by digging out their walls, while rats were eating the rice flower heads and contributing to the terraces’ erosion with their burrowing,” stressed Legarda, who chairs the Senate Committee on Cultural Communities.
UNESCO noted that the degradation of the Ifugao rice terraces is the result of the absence of monitoring mechanism and management plan to preserve and ensure the sustainable development of the national landmark.
“I urge concerned government agencies, particularly the Ifugao Cultural Heritage Office, to ensure that various efforts are in place to save this World Heritage Site from total degradation,” said Legarda.
Legarda said remedial measures must be introduced in order to address growing concerns over the worsening state of the country’s national treasure.
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