International restoration experts are needed in rebuilding the historic churches in Bohol and Cebu damaged by Tuesday’s powerful earthquake.
In a press briefing Thursday, Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the assistance of experts in the international community is needed for the restoration.
“If there is one assistance that we need, [they]are the restoration experts,” Lacierda said.
He noted the massive restoration work on iconic churches and buildings in Venice, Italy.
“And so, what we need in terms of assistance also from our international friends would be experts in restoring churches, restoring all these national treasures. These are already heritage sites, so that’s one, and also that’s what we’re looking at also,” he
Lacierda said the government also wants to make sure they are able to restore the churches. The Department of Tourism, he said, is “fully supportive of the project.”
“As far as I know, Secretary of Tourism Mon Jimenez is one of the Cabinet
secretaries who [is]actively involved in the restoration, primarily because it is in his jurisdiction. Eco-tourism is part of his mandate,” he said.
The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) earlier said that it had started assessing the extent of earthquake damage on 10 historic churches in the two provinces.
Partially or heavily damaged were the Church of San Pedro Apostol, Loboc, Bohol; Church of Our Lady of Light, Loon, Bohol; Santissima Trinidad Parish, Loay,
Bohol; Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Baclayon, Bohol; Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Dauis; San Nicolas Church, Dimiao; Santa Cruz Parish Church, Maribojoc, all in Bohol.
In Cebu, the quake damaged the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral; and St. Catherine’s Church in Carcar.
CATHERINE S. VALENTE