The national government has released P9.48 million to cover initial conservation work on the Manila Metropolitan Theater (MET), according to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
The National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) earlier purchased the historic theater from the Government Service Insurance System with a P270-million fund release made available by the Budget department.
The DBM said the P9.48 million is a special budget release that will be charged against the National Endowment Fund for Culture and the Arts (NEFCA).
NEFCA represents the NCCA’s 10-percent share from the travel tax collected by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA, formerly the Philippine Tourism Authority), and is treated as an automatic appropriation.
The budget agency said the release will fund the conservation efforts to rehabilitate the theater, which includes mobilization expenses for the physical cleaning as well as the establishment of security.
“Rehabilitating the MET will restore dignity to the Crown Jewel of Manila Theaters after years of neglect and disrepair. Bringing the MET into the modern age will also boost our country’s tourism industry, as the proper management of our cultural heritage will support the gains of our economic growth,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said.