CEBU CITY, Philippines — Heritage advocates may have a reason to rejoice. The Patria de Cebu might be saved after all.
Dr. Rene Escalante, chairperson of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), told Cebu Daily News Digital on Tuesday, February 12, 2019, that the camp of the Archdiocese of Cebu and the developer, Cebu Landmaster Inc., have agreed not to tear down of the old Patria de Cebu building as they develop the area into a modern commercial complex.
Escalante said that he met with Archbishop Jose Palma in Manila in the last week of January and the executives of CLI a week later to discuss a compromise that can be done in order to preserve the Patria.
“I had a meeting with both [the CLI and Archbishop Palma]. I am just waiting for the submissions but there is a commitment that they will make the necessary adjustments in the development so that the Patria will not be demolished,” he added.
Escalante said that CLI committed to submit a new development plan where the old Patria building will not be demolished but instead, be integrated into the planned commercial structure.
“They will come up with a new development plan, integrating the old Patria into the new development. I hope it will happen so that there will be no questions anymore,” Escalante said.
Patria de Cebu was erected in 1954 as a youth recreational center and served as a convent for nuns.
The safety of the Patria, which was damaged in an earthquake in 2013, was one of the considerations taken by the Archdiocese in previously deciding to take it down.
Escalante said that the Patria will be retrofitted to restore its safety. /bmjo