MANILA — The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Wednesday recognized the Manila Central Post Office as a cultural treasure that deserves “national attention and support” following the massive fire that destroyed the historic building.
“The incident concerning the unfortunate burning of the Manila Post Office is a tragedy of heritage. And it is a cultural treasure that deserves national attention and support,” Tourism Secretary Tourism Christina Frasco said at the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum.
She said that the DOT took note of the remarks made by the Manila City government that the building would “not be torn down”, after speculation surfaced that there might have been attempts to replace the building with a hotel or another commercial property.
Frasco said the Tourism Department would support the government's plan for the building’s rehabilitation.
“From our end, the Department of Tourism, recognizing the heritage value of this structure, we are prepared to follow through on the direction that the Marcos administration wishes to take in terms of how to rehabilitate the structure," she said.
"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.
It took 30 hours for firefighters to put out the massive fire that engulfed the historic building, which caused at least P300 million worth of estimated damage to the structure.
The inferno also destroyed parcels, Philippine National ID cards for some Manila residents, corporate documents, stamps, and paintings.