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NHCP allots P40M to restore 134-year old Lazi Church

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The National Heritage Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) will undertake the P40-million restoration of the San Isidro Labrador Parish Church at the town of Lazi in Siquijor province this year.

The NHCP and the Diocese of Dumaguete, which also includes Siquijor, is set to sign a Memorandum of Agreement soon so the project can commence at the earliest time possible.

Msgr. Julius Heruela, parish priest of the St. Augustine de Hippo Parish in Bacong, Negros Oriental and the chairman of the Diocesan Commission on Cultural Heritage, said the church restoration would complement the Lazi Convent restoration project which was turned over last year to the diocese.

Also known as the Lazi Church, San Isidro Labrador Parish Church was built in 1884 and declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines.

It was also declared a National Historical Landmark by the NHCP in 1984 and is a major tourist draw in that island-province.

During a meeting Thursday in Dumaguete City, NHCP officials and the Commission on Cultural Heritage-Technical Working Group finalized the draft Memorandum of Understanding to be signed by NHCP, represented by Executive Director Ludivico Badoy, and the Diocese of Dumaguete, represented by Bishop Julito Cortes.

The restoration project is expected to run for about one year.

Msgr. Heruela has lauded the NHCP for providing the funding and undertaking the restoration project of the Lazi Church, saying this is in line with the direction of the Diocese of Dumaguete to preserve its historical churches.

Two other churches are next in line although they are still in the preparatory works, according to the priest.

These are the churches in Dauin and Zamboanguita, Negros Oriental. (PNA)