Manila bent on submitting bid for long-neglected Met

Philippine Daily Inquirer

Nathaniel R. Melican

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

DESPITE the challenge posed by a rival for the purchase of the Manila Metropolitan Theater, the Manila City government said it remained keen on using the iconic but crumbling theater for its own events and activities.

This was the essence of Mayor Joseph Estrada’s letter to National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) chair Felipe de Leon.

In the letter dated April 20, Estrada acknowledged the

NCCA’s decision to “reject” the city government’s request for the agency to waive its right of first refusal privilege on the sale of national cultural treasures such as the theater—more popularly known as the Met—as provided for under the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009.

“Although you decided to reject our request, it is a step forward in our efforts to rehabilitate the Met,” Estrada said.

“As the original owner of the Met, the city government intends to showcase and promote Filipino culture so that the Met can once more serve as a landmark of Manila’s heritage,” he added.

The NCCA has announced its intention to match the city government’s P267.155 million bid for the purchase of the Met with the aim of owning the landmark and restoring it.