BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya, March 20 (PIA) – The National Museum has declared two old structures in this province as National Cultural Properties of the country.

These structures are the Dampol Bridge in Dupax del Sur town and the Old Provincial Capitol Building in this town.

“It is with pride and commitment that we affirm as National Museum, the inclusion of these important cultural properties as among the significant built heritage of the country, “ said Jeremy Barns of the National Museum.

The Dampol Arch Bridge is a single-arched brick bridge that spans the Abanatan creek which divides Dupax Sur and Dupax Norte towns.

The 196-year-old Dampol Arch Bridge, built by Spanish Dominican friar Fr. Francisco Rocamora in 1818, is one of the few remaining historic landmarks in the southern part of Nueva Vizcaya.

The early Isinay tribe, with other indigenous groups living in the old ‘Ituy’ area, built the bridge.

Native hands crafted the red-colored brick from an old adobe workshop near the Dominican church of San Vicente Ferrer in Dupax when Fray Rocamora was vicar.

The bridge connected the two Dupaxes to nearby towns and facilitated the transport of people and products for trade in horse-driven carts during the earlier period.

Earlier, attempts to widen the narrow bridge through the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) was met by protests from the Isinai tribe because of its historical and cultural value.

On the other hand, the Old Provincial Capitol Building was constructed during the pre-war era and served as the first structural seat of governance of Nueva Vizcaya.

Since 2001, it was used as the provincial museum, managed by the provincial government through the Provincial Tourism Office (PTO).

At present, it houses several cultural artifacts and other items of historical value including the PTO.

Jen Costales, supervising tourism officer, said the formal blessing, inauguration and unveiling of the structure’s marker as an Important Cultural Property will be on March 23.

She said the repair, restoration and improvement of the Old Capitol Building is now ongoing after the provincial government allotted P3 million for the purpose. (ALM/BME/PIA 2-Nueva Vizcaya)