Church repairs to take P80M to P100M each-A A +A
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
CHURCHGOERS and tourists in Bohol may have to wait until next year before the reconstruction of earthquake-damaged churches begins, a Catholic Church executive said on Tuesday.
According to the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)-Permanent Committee for the Cultural Heritage of the Church (PCCHC), it is looking to complete the planning for the reconstruction efforts within this year.
“Mayroon nang pondo na pumapasok... (Some funds are coming in) Within this year, we will make plans but most probably, the actual restoration will begin next year yet,” said CBCP-PCCHC executive secretary Fr. Ted Torralba in a press forum.
Centuries-old churches were among those damaged by the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that hit the Visayas last week. Among those badly hit were the Church of San Pedro Apostol in Loboc, Our Lady of Light in Loon and the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Baclayon.
The Baclayon and Loboc churches, apart from being used by parishioners, were also regular stops on tours of Bohol.
Also damaged were the Santissima Trinidad Parish, Loay; Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Dauis, Bohol; San Nicolas Church, Dimiao, Bohol; and Santa Cruz Parish Church, Maribojoc, Bohol.
In Cebu, the Basilica del Santo Niño, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral and St. Catherine’s Church in Carcar also suffered damage during the quake.
Torralba said reconstruction efforts will also take a long time since the church would need about P80 million to P100 million for each damaged church.
“This will take a lot of money, time and a lot of human resources,” said Torralba.
He said they intend to source their funds primarily from the local communities, followed by individuals or corporate donors from outside the provinces; the government; and international cultural organizations.
In restoring the quake-stricken churches, the priest said they are looking to use the ruins of the collapsed churches in the reconstruction.
“A great number of materials were from the 17th or 18th century. We would use same materials but we would use the technology of our time,” said the CBCP official.
“We intend to build them firmer, sturdier and more beautiful. I don’t think we can build earthquake-proof churches but we can make them earthquake-resistant,” added Torralba.(HDT/Sunnex)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 23, 2013.