International experts' help sought to restore heritage sites in Bohol, Cebu-A A +A
Thursday, October 17, 2013
THE Philippine government needs the assistance of international experts for the restoration of the old churches in Bohol and Cebu damaged by the powerful earthquake last Tuesday, a Palace official said Thursday.
In a press briefing, Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that those damaged churches, mostly found in Bohol, should be rebuilt as they are part of eco-tourism.
“One of the things which is remarkable about Bohol is that Bohol thrives on eco-tourism. And one of the civic prides in Bohol is the number of churches, old churches that have been set up during the Spanish era,” he said.
“What we need right now are restoration experts. If there is one assistance that we need, (they) are the restoration experts," he said, citing what happened in Venice, Italy which was flooded and a number of restoration works that was done in the city.
“And so, what we need in terms of assistance also from our international friends would be experts in restoring churches, restoring all these national treasures. These are already heritage sites, and that’s what we are looking at,” Lacierda explained.
The Aquino administration wanted to make sure that it could restore the churches and the Department of Tourism is supportive of the initiative, the Palace official said.
Lacierda noted that Secretary of Tourism Ramon Jimenez Jr. was one among the Cabinet officials involved in the restoration of the heritage sites.
While in Bohol on Wednesday, President Benigno Aquino III said his government is committed to helping Bohol rehabilitate its churches damaged by the quake.
Loboc Church and Baclayon Church, two of the oldest churches in the Philippines, were heavily damaged on Tuesday after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Bohol.
Prior to the quake that hit the province, both churches were being conserved by the National Museum with the funding from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
The NCCA spearheaded few years ago the conservation of 26 Spanish colonial-era churches in the country, especially those that were recognized as National Cultural Treasures by the National Museum. (SDR/Sunnex)