THE National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) has proposed a P10-million budget to retrofit the Cathedral Museum in Cebu City.
NHCP Chairman Rene Escalante said the repair is part of his office’s preparations for the 500th anniversary of Christianity in Cebu in 2021.
The planned retrofitting will strengthen the roof, walls and trusses of the museum.
“We want to focus on the structural (integrity) because that is the first step that we normally do. We want to make the building stable. So that just in case of natural calamities, the building will not collapse,” Escalante said.
The budget proposal was approved by the National Economic and Development Authority and submitted to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
Only when the DBM approves the budget proposal and submits it to President Rodrigo Duterte will the NHCP finalize its plan for the project, Escalante said.
The Cathedral Museum is located on the street beside the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. It houses the memorabilia of priests who served the Archdiocese of Cebu and other items used by the Roman Catholic Church.
Fr. Brian Brigoli, chairman of the Cebu Archdiocesan Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church (CACCHC), said his office requested the NHCP and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) to repair the museum, which is considered as a heritage structure because it is the former rectory of the cathedral.
NCCA personnel started inspecting the museum on Saturday, June 15, 2019. Their inspection will end on Monday, June 17.
Brigoli said he has to wait for the decision of the NHCP and the NCCA when to start the repairs, but he said CACCHC is ready to submit documents for the project.
“So, it’s up to them because we could not be sure of the other issues about the old structure that we already presented. They might see other things during their assessment. Then, that’s something that we also need to address,” he said.
The priest said the rectory was built in 1800 and designed by Bishop Santos Gomez Marañon, who also designed the cathedral.
Also on display at the museum are items belonging to the late Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal.
“Instead of throwing them away, we might as well put them in the museum to safeguard them and to curate them for proper information,” Brigoli said.
Escalante said if there is extra money from the repair, they will use it for the aesthetics of the museum. (FROM SCG OF SUPERBALITA / KAL)