TIEZA chief wants full restoration of Sibonga church damaged by Odette
MANDAUE CITY, Cebu — The general manager of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) wants to make sure that the Nuestra Señora del Pilar Church in Sibonga town in southern Cebu undergoes complete restoration.
With this in mind, TIEZA chief Mark Lapid has told Governor Gwendolyn Garcia during his visit on Monday, Nov. 7, that P15 million budget for the planned renovation is not enough.
“If we’re going to do something, gawin na ho nating maganda, tapusin na po natin. Para at the end of the day when we open it to the public, wow, ganda, gwapa!” Lapid said.
(If we are going to do something, let’s make it really beautiful, let’s complete it. So that at the end of the day when we open it to the public, (they can say), wow, it’s beautiful!)
Aside from doing the needed repairs, he also wanted its bleachers and altar retablo rehabilitated. In addition, he wanted the church’s ventilation system improved and its surroundings properly landscaped.
Sugbo News, the Cebu Capitol’s media arm, said in a report that Lapid and Governor Garcia visited on Monday the church that was “badly damaged” by Super Typhoon Odette in December 2021.
It said that Lapid wanted to personally assess the extent of the damage on the Sibonga church, which was earlier declared a national historical site by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).
TIEZA has made a commitment to allocate P15 million for the renovation works.
But after the site visit on Monday, Lapid said there is a need to allocate an even bigger budget for the purpose.
He said the P15 million budget request that NHCP submitted to his office earlier was ‘insufficient.”
A breakdown of NHCP’s budget proposal included P5.4 million for the rehabilitation of the paintings on the church’s ceiling, P2.1 million for the repair of its roof and another P3.4 million for the rectory, and P1.2 million for general electrical works, among others.
Following the inspection, Governor Garcia has asked the Archdiocese of Cebu, in coordination with Capitol’s engineering office, to come up with a new cost estimate that will reflect a “more expansive and complete restoration,” the Sugbo News report said.
The report also mentioned that Fr. Brian Brigoli, chairman of the Commission for Cultural Heritage of the Church, welcomed Lapid’s pronouncement as he also committed to submit an adjusted budget to TIEZA on or before Nov. 21 so this could be included in the calendar of issues to be approved during the agency’s next board meeting.
“Ang atoang scope karon mas midako, mas minindot. Ug atong imaginon inag kahuman niini, full restoration gyud ang mahitabo sa Sibonga. Dili lang repairs, dili lang partial, kon dili full restoration tungod sa maong commitment sa atong gobernadora ug sa commitment usab sa TIEZA,“ Fr. Brigoli said.
(Our scope now has grown bigger and more beautiful. And we can imagine when it is done, full restoration will happen in Sibonga. Not just repairs, not just partial, but full restoration because of the commitment of our governor and the commitment also of TIEZA.)
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