Quake-damaged PH heritage sites get support
by FFE PH News staff
The ruins of San Pedro Church in Loboc, Bohol after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake.
As the Department of Tourism scrambles to assess the damage brought about by the 7.2- magnitude earthquake that hit Bohol on Tuesday, groups from the private sector are stepping up to offer their help in the reconstruction efforts.
Jay Aldeguer, founding chairman and president of the Cebu-based travel and tourism company Islands Group, said that his company will soon be selling special edition shirts that will raise funds for the heritage sites and tourist spots affected by the quake.
Private conservation group Heritage Conservation Society (HCS) has meanwhile spearheaded calls for the government to allot more funds to agencies for the reconstruction of the heritage churches.
So far, a heritage task force comprising of experts from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) and the National Museum has been formed to assess the damage, draw up priorities for restoration, estimate the costs of restoration and tap stakeholders for funding.
The task force is set to coordinate with the church and national and local government agencies during the assessment and restoration efforts.
HCS reported that the earthquake has affected at least 7 churches in Bohol and Cebu, all of which are National Cultural Treasures or National Historical Landmarks. Cebu and Bohol are two of the top tourist destinations in the country, drawing 1.2 million visitors in January to April 2013 alone.