SENATE President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda expressed her full support for restoring the Manila Central Post Office (MCPO) building following its recent destruction due to a massive fire last May 21, 2023, which recorded estimated damage of more than P300 million in assets.
Underscoring the iconic structure as an “integral part of Philippine history and culture,” Legarda filed Senate Resolution No. 636 urging the national government to ensure swift rehabilitation of the Manila Post Office while affirming its conservation and preservation as an important cultural property.
“Preserving built heritage hinges on our ability to be ever mindful of conservation strategies. The immediate allotment of funds for a conservation management plan, structural integrity studies, and restoration must be diligently made,” she conveyed.
Under the said resolution, the senator called for a thorough and transparent investigation of the fire that caused damage to the architectural heritage and the establishment of a conservation management and structural integrity plan for its protection.
She also proposed transferring management and ownership of the Manila Central Post Office to government cultural agencies to establish “a cultural center and a hub” for modern arts and creative industries.
“We should not take down the building but consider adopting the concept of adaptive reuse, that instead of destroying our heritage structures, we can restore them and use them for a new purpose,” Legarda said, stressing that the tragedy opened new opportunities for the government to scale up conservation efforts of other historical structures in the country.
The four-term senator expressed dismay over the fire incident, which she considered a tragic and heartbreaking incident. She urged concerned authorities to comprehensively investigate the incident to ensure no occurrence will ever happen again.
For the past nine decades, the Manila Central Post Office has remained one of the Philippines’ oldest and most iconic structures, having survived major disasters and calamities, including the Battle of Manila in 1945 during World War II.