Cebu Archdiocese confirms Patria de Cebu development will integrate old structure
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Archdiocese of Cebu today confirmed that the development of Patria de Cebu into a mix-used commercial space will integrate the old structure of the over 50-year-old edifice.
Msgr. Joseph Tan, media liaison of the Archdiocese, told Cebu Daily News Digital that Cebu Landmasters Inc. (CLI), the developer of the project, already informed Archbishop Jose Palma that it will modify its development plan to ensure that the 60-year-old structure is preserved.
Tan said they support the decision of CLI to modify the development plan to show respect to the sentiments of various sectors who have opposed the demolition of the structure.
“The Archdiocese of Cebu supports the generous move of its development partner to modify its construction design of the proposed new building even if this means further delays in the start of the project,” Tan said in a text reply to CDN Digital.
Former Archdiocesan Commission on Cultural Heritage member Architect Melva Java has expressed elation over this announcement, which was first made by National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) Chairman Rene Escalante.
Escalante earlier said that CLI has agreed to the compromise to maintain the old structure of the Patria.
“That is nice. If this is true, Cebuanos, heritage advocates schools — the University of San Carlos (USC) School of Architecture, Fine Arts and Design (SAFAD) — deserve gratitude for taking a stand to save Patria and the Cebuano heritage in general,” Java said in an interview with CDN Digital.
Java, a former dean of the College of Architecture of USC and one of the staunch advocates of cultural heritage preservation in Cebu, was among those who have opposed the initial plan of tearing down the structure to make way for the construction of a modern commercial edifice.
Last January, Java resigned from the Commission on Cultural Heritage to protest the decision of the archdiocese and CLI to completely demolish the structure instead of considering the recommend of some of the commission’s members to keep the facade and make it a part of the new building.
The USC SAFAD also launched a signature campaign this month to call for the preservation of Patria de Cebu, which they sent to NHCP./elb
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