MANILA -- Sen. Loren Legarda on Tuesday called for a "swift rehabilitation" of the Manila Central Post Office after a massive fire razed the iconic structure last week.
"The immediate allotment of funds for a conservation management plan, structural integrity studies, and restoration must be diligently made," Legarda said.
A massive fire gutted the historic Manila Central Post Office in Lawton, Manila last Sunday, considered a "a blow to the country's cultural heritage."
Legarda's office said the estimated damage was pegged at P300 million "in assets."
Legarda 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.
The senator said the tragedy "opened new opportunities for the government to scale up conservation efforts of other historical structures in the country."
Sen. Robin Padilla had earlier sought a Senate probe into the fire incident as he pressed for better "policies for the preservation and protection of cultural properties."