MANILA Senator Sonny Angara on Friday called for the immediate repair and reconstruction of at least 24 heritage churches in Pampanga that were damaged by the magnitude 6.1 earthquake.
In a statement, Angara said the centuries-old churches are considered national treasures that must be preserved for future generations.
Regardless of one's faith, these churches are part of our cultural and national heritage. It is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations, Angara said.
Angara cited Republic Act 10066 or the National Cultural Heritage Act, which provides that all cultural properties declared as national cultural treasures and national historical landmarks, sites or monuments shall be entitled to priority government funding for protection, conservation and restoration.
Among the damaged churches in the province are Santa Catalina de Alexandria in Porac, San Agustin in Lubao, Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando, Holy Rosary and Archdiocesan Shrine of Christ Our Lord of the Holy Sepulcher in Angeles City, Saint James the Apostle in Guagua, Santa Rita de Cascia in Santa Rita, and Santa Monica in Minalin.
The senator noted that the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) would ask MalacaAang to release calamity funds or include in the 2020 national budget to restore the Pampanga heritage churches.
He said the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) has an endowment fund intended for the restoration of damaged heritage structures.
He also urged the private sector to aid the government in restoring the damaged churches. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency