P650M repair fund for Bohol, Cebu ready-A A +A
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
CEBU -- The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has set aside P650 million to repair 24 structures in Cebu and Bohol that were damaged by the 7.2-magnitude earthquake last October and Typhoon Yolanda less than a month after.
The Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (Tieza) informed the Cebu City Government that of the 24 structures, 16 are located in Bohol, five in Cebu City and three in Cebu Province.
Repairs will be undertaken by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, National Museum, and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).
In Cebu City, the infrastructure sites included in the DBM repair budget are the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Magellan’s Cross, Museo Sugbo and Fort San Pedro.
Several weeks back, the NHCP, through Executive Director Ludovico Badoy, signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama for the repair of the Fort San Pedro.
Fort San Pedro Executive Director Erwin dela Cerna told Sun.Star Cebu the repair work is targeted to start in October.
At present, he said, NHCP is still conducting the pre-restoration works, like 3D scanning of the facility’s walls.
“This documentation method will give an initial three-dimensional virtual scaled model, which will be used for damage assessment,” the MOA states.
The pre-restoration works also include clearing of unnecessary debris; installation of braces and scaffoldings; retrieval of loose stone blocks, objects and elements; documentation and labeling of blocks and objects; and storage and security of retrieved and documented objects.
It will also include geological, soil and structure assessment, materials characterization and detailed engineering study.
Following the pre-restoration works, the MOA provides that NHCP will present all its scientific findings and formulate the restoration plan.
The City Government, for its part, will allow heritage workers access to the fort as well as assist NHCP in the repairs.
Attached to the MOA was Tieza’s list of structures that will be repaired and covered by the DBM’s P650-million budget. It did not specify, though, how much was allocated for each structure.
“The restoration of the fort is not really easy. Abi namo’g dali ra na siya. Daghan pa man diay ug buhatonon (We thought it would be quick, but there’s still so much to do). It will take time,” said Dela Cerna.
Dela Cerna said they welcome the help, particularly the financial assistance, the National Government will extend. He said the City had set aside P10 million in 2011 to cover the rehabilitation of the fort, but it may now become savings.
According to Dela Cerna, this will be the first time that the fort will undergo repairs since it was established in 1738 or 276 years ago.
Last May, technical personnel of the commission’s contractor, Geotech Mercantile Corp., started the pre-restoration works for the fort.
Asked if they will close the fort to tourists once the repairs start, Dela Cerna said he would rather not if he had his way.
“Sayang man gud ang revenue. Kung pwede lang by phases ang repairs, mas maayo (It would a shame to lose the revenue. If the repairs can be done in phases, that would be better),” he said.
But if NHCP will suggest the temporary closure of the facility, Dela Cerna said the City will comply.
Every month, Dela Cerna said, the fort earns at least P1 million; this comes from the entrance fees of P30 for each adult and P20 for each student, as well as rental charges of P6,500 for events.
As for other facilities that have been included in the DBM budget, these are the Dalaguete, Carcar and Sibonga churches in Cebu Province.
For Bohol, those that will be repaired are Baclayon Church, Loboc Church, Dauis Church and watchtower, Maribojoc Church, Loon Church, Laoy Church, Dimiao Church, Cortes Church, Panglao Church, Panglao watchtower, Albuquerque Church, Bohol Provincial Capitol, Balilihan watchtower, Punta Cruz watchtower, Pamilican Island watchtower and Laoy watchtower. (Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 07, 2014.