Reconstruction of quake-hit churches to start in 2014

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

TOURISTS and churchgoers in Bohol may have to wait until next year before the reconstruction efforts for the earthquake-damaged churches begin, Catholic church executive said on Tuesday.

According to the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) - Permanent Committee for the Cultural Heritage of the Church (PCCHC), they are looking to complete the planning of the reconstruction within the year before the actual start next year.

“Mayroon nang pondo na pumapasok... within this year, may mga plano pang gagawin but most probably, the actual restoration will begin next year pa,” said CBCP-PCCHC Executive Secretary Fr. Ted Torralba in a press forum.

Centuries-old churches were among those that felt the brunt of the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that hit the Visayas region last week.

Damaged were the Church of San Pedro Apostol, Loboc, Bohol; Church of Our Lady of Light, Loon, Bohol; Santissima Trinidad Parish, Loay, Bohol; Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Baclayon, Bohol; Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Dauis, Bohol; San Nicolas Church, Dimiao, Bohol; Santa Cruz Parish Church, Maribojoc, Bohol; Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, Cebu; Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Cebu; and St. Catherine’s Church, Carcar, Cebu.

Torralba also said reconstruction efforts will also take a long time since they would need about P80 million to P100 million each.

“This will take a lot of money, time and a lot of human resources,” said Torralba.

He said they intend to source their funds primarily from the local communities, followed by individuals or corporate donors from outside the provinces; the government; and international cultural organizations.

In restoring the quake-stricken churches, the priest said they are looking to use the ruins of the collapsed churches in the reconstruction.

“A great number of materials were from the 17th or 18th century. We would use same materials but we would use the technology of our time,” said the CBCP official.

“We intend to build them firmer, sturdier and more beautiful. I don’t think we can build earthquake-proof churches but it we can make them earthquake-resistant,” added Torralba. (HDT/Sunnex)

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