A team from the National Historical Commission of the Philippines is visiting potential church heritage sites in the Diocese of Dumaguete, that covers a large portion of Negros Oriental and nearby Siquijor province.
Msgr. Julius Perpetuo Heruela, chairman of the Commission on Church Cultural Heritage of the Diocese of Dumaguete, said yesterday that the three-day visit includes further ocular inspections of the churches in the diocese that have received funding from the NHCP for restoration.
The NHCP team met with members of the Commission on Church Cultural Heritage Monday to discuss the scope of work and other specifics for the restoration of the Spanish era Catholic churches in the municipalities of Dauin and Zamboanguita in Negros Oriental.
The NHCP has approved the PHP19-million funding for the Dauin church and PHP9-million for the church in Zamboanguita.
Architect Friscian Panganiban of the NHCP said the restoration works in the Dauin and Zamboanguita churches will start once the bidding for the projects has been held.
He said it will be sometime in September when the projects will start, but he also recommended that masses and other activities in these churches be limited, or transferred to another site temporarily until the restoration is completed.
The projects have to start soon and end in March, in line with the Department of Budget and Management policy, otherwise, the funding would revert to the government coffers, he added.
The NHCP team assured that there will be a pre-construction conference with the stakeholders once the projects have been awarded to the contractor.
Yesterday, the NHCP team met with the Dumaguete clergy to present the restoration projects of Dauin and Zamboanguita, and to give them an insight on an activity in August involving conservation/restoration of church movable items, such as documents, icons of saints, textile, wood and polychrome, among others.
Dubbed as “Conservation Goes To The Province”, the five-day event to be held in the Diocese of Dumaguete in August is still being finalized, Heruela said.
“This is a blessing, indeed. We have all these activities here,” he also said.
On Wednesday, the NCHP team, together with Heruela, will visit the nearby island-province of Siquijor, which is also under the Diocese of Dumaguete, to see the ongoing restoration project of the PHP40-million San Isidro Labrador Church in Lazi town.
The Diocese of Dumaguete, headed by Bishop Julito Cortes, was previously a recipient of millions of pesos in NHCP funding for the restoration of the San Isidro Labrador Convent in Lazi, Siquijor.
The team also visited the church in Amlan, Negros Oriental Tuesday and the ruins of the old convent in Bonbonon, Siaton, also in Negros Oriental, to determine their potential as heritage sites.*PNA
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