Capitol, foundation ink agreement for Boljoon Church restoration
() - January 26, 2007 - 12:00am
The provincial government has tasked the Boljoon Heritage Foundation, Inc. to undertake restoration works at the Patrocinio de Maria Church of Boljoon town, the oldest church in Cebu.

During the Suroy-Suroy sa Sugbo's stopover in Boljoon town last Wednesday night, the provincial government, represented by Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, and the heritage foundation, represented by Atty. Edmund Villanueva, signed a memorandum of agreement to this effect.

The provincial government was designated by the National Commission on Culture and Arts to implement the restoration works on the Patrocinio de Maria Church in pursuant to a memorandum of agreement signed by the Capitol and the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Cebu on June 14, 2006.

The MOA states that the Archbishop grants its consent to the province to undertake the restoration, conservation, and preservation work on the church, which "is in a serious state of deterioration and disrepair, with its ceiling, roof beams, walls and buttresses severely damaged by elements of geologic movements caused by past temblors which renders the whole church structure unsafe for the public."

It was the Boljoon Heritage Foundation which expressed its desire and interest to become an active partner of the Church in this endeavor and the Wednesday night agreement officially designated it to implement the said project in accordance and in strict compliance with the program of work and detailed engineering study prepared by the NCCA.

The MOA between the province and the foundation stipulates that the foundation should allow the NCCA, the National Historical Institute and the National Museum through its heritage sites management unit, as well as personnel from the province to monitor the project's implementation.

Funds released to the foundation are also subject to liquidation.

The provincial government has set aside P2.8 million in addition to the P2 million funding from the NCCA for the first phase of the restoration works. The restoration works cost a total of P21.8 million.

The Boljoon Church was declared as a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum on July 31, 2001 in pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 374, in relation to Republic Act No. 4846. It is the only structure in Cebu bestowed with such honor and distinction. It was also declared by the National Historical Institute as National Historical Landmark on December 15, 1999 in pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 260.

On the strength of the said declarations, the church has been authorized to receive financial and technical assistance from the government, its instrumentality and local government units to be used for its restoration, preservation and conservation.

The oldest church in Cebu, the Boljoon Church was built by the Augustinian Friars as a fortress church in the 18th century. - Cristina C. Birondo/QSB

AUGUSTINIAN FRIARS BOLJOON CHURCH BOLJOON HERITAGE FOUNDATION CAPITOL AND THE ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF CEBU CEBU CHURCH CRISTINA C CULTURE AND ARTS DURING THE SUROY-SUROY EDMUND VILLANUEVA PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO
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