OVER 600 students from the University of San Carlos (USC) School of Fine Arts, Architecture and Design (Safad) have joined heritage advocates in calling on Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma to save the Patria de Cebu building from demolition.
The Patria de Cebu, a 6,670-square-meter property across the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral in downtown Cebu City, is being eyed for redevelopment into “integrated retail, office and hotel structure.”
Palma has applied for a demolition permit to pave the way for the P1-billion redevelopment project proposed by listed Cebu developer Cebu Landmasters Incorporated.
Joseph Michael Espina, dean of the USC Safad and member of the United Architects of the Philippines-Datu Lapu-Lapu Chapter of Cebu, said Patria de Cebu is "not an ordinary building."
"It is a repository of the many historical accounts, memories and sensibilities of Cebuanos as it continues with its mission until today," he said in a January 28, 2019 letter sent to Palma.
"As a School of Architecture, Fine Arts and Design, we have taken responsibility in educating and training our students on the importance of heritage conservation. We seize opportunities to show our students examples of what can be preserved as heritage structures...We find it disconcerting that the very principles on conservation which we advocate here in school may be greatly impugned by this contention," he added.