2023 May 24
CULTURAL TREASURE. The 48-year-old Mr. Postman statue of the fire-razed Manila Central Post Office in Liwasang Bonifacio seems to guard whatever valuables are left inside the razed neoclassical building. The Department of Tourism (DOT) said Wednesday (May 24, 2023) that it is prepared to follow through on the direction that the Marcos administration would take in terms of how to rehabilitate the cultural treasure
MANILA – The Department of Tourism (DOT) is ready to assist in the rehabilitation of the Manila Central Post Office after a massive fire razed it last Sunday.
Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco said the DOT regards the decades-old structure as a “cultural treasure”, adding it deserves national attention and support.
“We note the remarks that has been made by the city government of Manila that has assured that it will not be torn down and from our end in the DOT, recognizing the heritage value of this structure, we are prepared to follow through on the direction that the Marcos administration would take in terms of how to rehabilitate the structure,” she said in a media forum on Wednesday.
“Especially considering that our attached agency, TIEZA (Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority] has long led the assistance in terms of rehabilitation of heritage structures,” she added.
Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna earlier allayed fears that a new structure would rise in Liwasang Bonifacio, where the post office is located, saying the building is protected by local and national declarations.
The fire started at the General Services Department of the Manila Central Post Office building 11:41 p.m. on Sunday and raged on for over 30 hours until it was declared out at 6:33 a.m. on Tuesday.
The national historical landmark, which is protected by the Heritage Law, was built in 1926 following the design of Juan Arellano.
It also suffered damage from World War II in 1945 and was rebuilt the following year.
The National Historical Commission of the Philippines said it will give way to the Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost) in conducting retrieval operations and addressing the basic needs of their people as it affirmed its commitment to help rehabilitate the neoclassical structure.
Joyce Ann Rocamora (PNA)