LAZI, Siquijor – The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) on Friday turned over to the clergy the convent of the St. Isidore Parish here after eight months of restoration.
NHCP Executive Director Ludovico Badoy said the damage due to the convent’s old age caught the agency's attention and prompted officials to begin restoration efforts at the heritage site.
The convent was built in 1891 out of lime stone, coral stone, and hard wood by Augustinian Recollects, and was declared a National Historical Landmark by the then-National Historical Institute in 1978.
The budget for the restoration was pegged at P19 million.
Some of the highlights of the restored convent are new windows, ceilings, flooring, and roof.
Monsignor Julius Heruela, assigned coordinator of the restorations under the Diocese of Dumaguete, said the parish plans to use the convent as residence for their parish priests. A part of it will also be used as a museum.
Parish officials are also looking at creating a research center on the history of Siquijor in the convent, which is also envisioned to be turned into a tourist attraction.
To support all these efforts, the local government vowed to pass ordinances to further protect the heritage site.
Dumaguete Bishop Julito Cortes and Lazi Mayor James Monte attended the turnover ceremonies.