Appeal made by the Heritage Conservation Society of the Philippines
in the wake of the Visayas earthquake:
"The Heritage Conservation Society joins the rest of the Philippines in prayer as we recover from the damage of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Central Visayas on the morning of October 15, 2013. We mourn the loss of life as well as of property. The earthquake destroyed significant heritage landmarks in Bohol and Cebu, causing total destruction or significant damage to the churches in Baclayon, Dauis, Dimiao, Loay, Loboc, Loon and Maribojoc in Bohol, all National Cultural Treasures or National Historical Landmarks; and the Sto. Niño Basilica and Cebu Cathedral in Cebu among others in both provinces.
We call on the our country's government to allot funds for the proper reconstruction and restoration of these heritage churches which are priceless Philippine cultural treasures. We also ask government cultural agencies, particularly the National Commission for Culture & the Arts, National Historical Commission of the Philippines and the National Museum, to take the lead in restoration efforts and move as one. We also ask that heritage professionals & experts from both the public and private sector be convened to plan the proper reconstruction & restoration of our damaged cultural properties.
We hope that this incident sends a strong message to the national government to invest in our cultural heritage by allotting significant funding for periodic maintenance and preventive measures, such as retrofitting of our built heritage, to protect them from incidents of this magnitude in the future".