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NCCA seeks additional funds to repair heritage structures

August 19, 2022 - Friday 6:08 PM by Angelo Espino

Article Banner Image Photo from Abra Province FB

The government is ready to assist in repairing heritage structures, including churches damaged by the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that jolted Northern Luzon last month.

According to Rene Escalante, chairman of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), who visited areas affected by the earthquake this week, some of the edifices are located in the provinces of Abra, Ilocos Sur, and Ilocos Norte.

He said the national government would only concentrate on "big ticket restoration works".

Among the structures they are looking at in Ilocos Sur are Vigan Cathedral, the Bantay Church and its iconic bell tower, and parish churches in San Esteban, Candon, and Sta. Maria.

"These will be submitted as the priority projects of the national government," said the chairman of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) in an article posted on the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) news website.

At the same time, Escalante said they are finalizing the list of structures that the government will restore.

He added that they are also looking to ask for the assistance of international agencies to augment the government's financial aid.

Currently, the NCCA head reported that the structures are undergoing detailed engineering studies to assess the damages further and know the extent of restoration needed.

"We are behind your desire to restore these heritage structures… let us rebuild better," Escalante said.

The July 27 tremor claimed at least four lives and damaged private and public buildings, roads, heritage sites, and churches.