ALMOST two years after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that rocked the Visayas, Fort San Pedro in Cebu City will soon undergo repairs that will cost at least P300 million.

The City Government and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) signed last April 21 the memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the restoration of the 277-year-old facility.

Mayor Michael Rama and NHCP Executive Director Ludovico Badoy signed the MOA in the presence of NHCP accountant Pricila Manalo.

Under the MOA, the restoration work for the Fort San Pedro will be conducted in three phases.

The first phase will be the training of local masons and laborers on basic traditional stone conservation technology.

The second phase will be the structural restoration of the walls of the fort as well as its bastions. The third phase will cover the site development, landscaping, plumbing and improvement of drainage, among others.

Fort San Pedro Executive Director Erwin dela Cerna said yesterday that the estimated P30-million repair works will commence in June.

According to the MOA, the NHCP will implement multiple levels of intervention-preservation, restoration, rehabilitation, reconstruction-considering the varying degrees of damage that the earthquake did to the fort.

The preservation will maintain the heritage structure of the fort, while the restoration aims at returning the structure to its recognized or long-accepted condition.

Rehabilitation will stabilize the structure to extend its life, while reconstruction will replace the ruins to keep up with the structure’s overall architectural character.

The MOA provides that the NHCP will provide the funds for the project.

They will also formulate the conservation plan with detailed engineering, guided by scientific and historical research findings, and submit the restoration plans, including the technical and engineering aspects to the City for review and approval.

NHCP will also conduct the public bidding for all the phases of the project; regularly coordinate with the City; and train City personnel on the proper and regular maintenance of the restored structure.

Once the repair works will be finished, the NCHP will then formally turn over the facility to the City as well as the fort’s maintenance plan.

As for the City, the MOA provides that it will authorize NHCP as the sole agency to restore the fort so the facility will keep up with internationally and nationally accepted standards of conservation.

The City will also review and approve the NHCP’s restoration plan; allow NHCP and its contractor to access the building’s premises; provide security and prohibit unauthorized persons in the facility’s premises during the restoration.

The City will also organize stakeholders’ meetings whenever necessary to give updates on the repair works, as well as maintain the restored fort walls and bastions after the repairs are completed.

According to dela Cerna, the repair works at the fort will take at least one year.