Restoration starts 2 years after quake
Two years after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake shook the Visayas, work to restore the damaged Museo Sugbo in Cebu finally begin this month.
Museum curator Maria Cecilia Cabañes said the facility had to close down for almost 10 months following the tremor that hit the provinces of Cebu and Bohol in 2013.
“Right now, we are restoring the structures. There are only a few buildings in Cebu built in the Spanish era that remain standing and so it wasn’t easy for us when the place was damaged by the quake,” she said during the weekly Kapistorya forum held at the museum yesterday.
Since August 2014, special tours around the museum have been limited due to ongoing pre-restoration work.
Restoration work officially began earlier this month and is expected to be completed in April next year.
The building now known as Museo Sugbo has been standing since 1871 and was formerly the provincial jail of Cebu.
Following the quake that damaged heritage structures in Cebu and churches in Bohol, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) set aside P650 million for restoration of the structures.
Architect Reynaldo Inovero, former NHCP chief on historical preservation, said the commission allocated around P20 million for work on the Museo Sugbo.
The amount is fully shouldered by the commission with no counterpart from the provincial government.
Around P20 million was also set aside for restoration work on Fort San Pedro in downtown Cebu City, which Inovero said is almost complete.
He explained that restoration took so long to begin because it still had to undergo extensive technical studies and the commission had to solicit funds.
“At the moment, we are doing cleaning operations which will expose more damage on the structures,” he explained during the forum.
Inovero, who also works for contractor J.S. Lim Construction, said they are coordinating with a structural engineer to move forward.
He said they will need to stabilize the walls and provide safety reinforcements if needed or as recommended by the engineer.
As much as possible, the team is tasked to restore the museum and preserve the original materials used in its construction.
Among the priority areas to be fixed are the perimeter walls, inner walls, building walls, and site drainage.
Five watchtowers put up when the building served as the provincial jail were removed months after the earthquake because these posed too much pressure on the walls and danger to the public.
Despite ongoing construction work at the facility, the museum still accomodates visits and tours.
Cabañes said that October is the peak month for the museum, the time when students from different schools visit as part of educational tours.
Located along M.J. Cuenco Ave. in barangay Tejero Cebu, City, Museo Sugbo features the pre-colonial gallery, spanish colonial gallery, Katipunan revolution and American colonial gallery, war memorial gallery, the National Museum gallery, and the Cebu Journalism gallery, among others.
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.