During the opening of “Conservation Goes to the Province,” a five-day training in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) chairman Rene Escalante reveals that three (3) churches in the province, including the Siquijor Island, will undergo restoration and beautification. The project is earmarked at 70 million pesos.

bluprint news negros oriental churches restoration
Lazi Church, Lazi, Siquijor, Philippines. Photographed by Carmelo Bayarcal via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The three churches, under the Diocese of Dumaguete, are the San Isidro Labrador Parish Church (also Lazi Church) in Lazi, Siguijor (allotted P38.7 million); the San Nicolas Church in Dauin, Negros Oriental (P19.4 million); and, the San Isidro Labrador Church in Zamboanguita, Negros Oriental (P9.65 million).

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According to Escalante, the team of NHCP engineers noted that the Lazi church itself needs a repair after restoring the Lazi convent. As for the two churches in Dauin and Zamboanguita, he said NHCP will make the structures safer, more functional, and as beautiful as possible.

bluprint news negros oriental churches restoration
Zamboanguita Church. Image from Pinoy Churches

The budget for this triple restoration project is good for one year, according to Escalante. Hence, in most cases, NHCP will aim attention at the structural part of the restoration process. Recommendations for inclusion in the following year’s budget would be submitted to the commission if there is any need for more architectural interventions.

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According to Escalante, the commission is now moving their efforts towards Western Visayas after concentrating on Bohol and Cebu for the past years. In line with this, Negros Oriental will receive the considerable portion of their budget in 2019. He also says that this restoration project will not be the last for Negros Oriental.

bluprint news negros oriental churches restoration
Dauin Church. Photo by Dimitri and Audre via FotoTime.

Possible projects will include the restoration of the belfry of the Dumaguete Cathedral, which has been observed to have integrity and tilting problems. NHCP architects and engineers suggest to reinforce the belfry’s structure by putting up some internal support. Escalante says, “As much as possible we want to preserve the beauty of the tower by not making any additional structure outside.”

This announcement was first made on www.pna.gov.ph.

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