Cebu News

NHCP to give P10M for Cathedral Museum repair

May B. Miasco - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Heritage restoration projects continue to pour in Cebu, in anticipation of the 500th anniversary celebration of the introduction of Christianity in the country.

The head of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) told local media that the agency has pushed for a P10-million funding for the retrofitting of the Cathedral Museum in downtown Cebu City that was long built in the early 19th century.

NHCP Chairman Dr. Rene Escalante said that the Cathedral Museum, being the ecclesiastical museum of the Cebu archdiocese, has already been marked as one of the main attractions during the big celebration come 2021.

"Next year, we will hopefully receive the necessary funding. In the original proposal, I believe we will retain the roof and the trusses and all other parts of the structure. This is also in preparation for the 5th centenary (celebration). Probably, the plan of the (Cebu) archdiocese is to display some of the collections of the archdiocese and this will be part of the attractions in two years’ time,” he said.

Escalante added that part of the general plan also include the stabilization of the walls and the windows, too.

"We haven't decided yet on the details... but as to the nitty-gritty of this, it (plan) will be ironed out before the end of the year,” he said.

Escalante added the proponents would want to focus first on the structural aspect of the museum’s restoration as this usually becomes the primary step to any similar project.

“We want to make the building stable just in case there will be natural calamities, the building will not collapse,” he said.

The museum building is one of the few extant structures in downtown Cebu City that was totally spared from the ravages of World War II, and has survived the many natural events that previously hit Cebu.

It sits next to Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral along P. Burgos Street.

Many of the items on display at the museum are from the Spanish colonial times; it houses several galleries where one can see old photographs, personal effects of well-loved late Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, statues of saints, priestly vestments and sacred vessels, among others.

Escalante said if there will be an excess from the approved budget, the proponents may continue with the aesthetic part of the plan.

At present, he said the proposal is already elevated at the level of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) after the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has approved it.

“The process is, we submit our proposal to NEDA and, once it’s approved, we submit it to DBM. It is now on the level of the DBM. Normally, if a proposal is approved by DBM, in most cases, it will proceed. And then it will now be incorporated to the budget that the president will submit to Congress,” he said.

“The actual plans will be finalized once we have the approval of DBM. I’ll go back (to Cebu) to finalize the plan,” he added.

The P10-million funding will be taken from the national budget of the Philippine Government for 2020. (FREEMAN)

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