MANILA, Philippines - The Aquino administration has earmarked P400 million for the restoration of San Ignacio Church in Intramuros to house ecclesial treasures and other art works.
Tourism Secretary Albert Lim told CBCP News the restored church is part of the government’s plan to boost tourism in Intramuros.
“It (edifice) has walls and all we need is to construct the roof and interiors to house ecclesiastical art,” he said.
The construction is expected to begin by next year.
The Intramuros Administration will manage the facility after its completion. The church, which will become the Museo de Intramuros, will be opened to the public by 2012.
Intramuros Administrator Jose Capistrano Jr. said former Central Bank Governor Jaime C. Laya has turned over the Church antiques and artifacts to the government.
“The collection is now in an undisclosed place,” he said.
Lim added: “Initially, we will invite a developer and come up with a master plan for buildings that dignify the look that would be used for modern purposes.”
A memorandum of agreement may need to be signed between the Intramuros Administration and the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Cultural Heritage for the restoration.
The church was destroyed during the Second World War when the American bombed Intramuros to drive out the Japanese.
The church is near the Arzobispado de Manila along Arzobispo St.