Cepmo geared for Dominican restoration

RESTORING the 100 year-old Dominican Heritage and Nature Park into an adaptive and sustainable destination in the Summer Capital will entail a lot of expenses, according to the City Environment and Parks Management Office (Cepmo).

But as the city is still studying the cost of restoration, some developments have been introduced in line with the National Historical Commission’s guidelines of sustainable and adaptive reuse.

Cepmo assistant department head Ruben Cervantes said the city is currently constructing two gazebos with European architectural design to match with the edifice of the heritage retreat house.

The gazebos will rise in the vacant lot between the heritage building and the Sandigang Bayan facilities.

Aside from the gazebos, Cervantes said Cepmo is currently reconstructing the Butterfly Sanctuary within the compound of the heritage hill.

All these, he said, are part of the restoration of the compound as a heritage property of the city although the building itself remained untouched awaiting an engineering and architectural study on the proper restoration works.

The heritage and earthquake proof structure has been declared and marked with a heritage marker by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) and recognized by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCAA).

The city government is aiming to restore the century-old building and its surrounding grounds to its intended purpose as a prayer and heritage site where tourists as well as locals could reflect on Baguio’s glorious past and marvel at what the Dominican friars built and one of a kind structure overlooking the Western part of the city.

Initially, the City Government had earmarked some P97 million to fully restore the century-old property. Cervantes said the fund is allocated for the restoration of the rain harvesting facility of the building which was destroyed during the 1990 earthquake.

“The heritage building has no pipe connection to the Baguio Water District and we are spending for water deliveries for the plants and maintenance,” Cervantes said.

Once the rain harvesting facility is restored, Cervantes said Cepmo would then restore the two fountains inside the building.

Earlier, Mayor Mauricio Domogan announced the idea of Public-Private Partnership for the restoration and management of the building.
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