Solon wants public-private partnership in restoration, preservation of historic sites

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 23) — A lawmaker on Tuesday called on the public and private sectors to work together in looking after the country’s historical sites following the massive fire that totally gutted the Manila Central Post Office building.

“We plan to put up a foundation for the restoration and preservation of all iconic sites in the country because of what happened in the Central Post Office,” Manila 6th District Rep. Bienvenido Abante told CNN Philippines’ The Source.

Through this foundation, Abante said they hope to encourage private individuals to help preserve heritage sites across the country.

The lawmaker said he plans to deliver a privilege speech before his colleagues on Tuesday not only to call on the government, but also private companies to provide funding for the restoration of the post office.

“It is not only a national treasure, but of course, the Central Post Office is being used by poor and rich alike as far as communication is concerned,” Abante pointed out.

The blaze at the iconic building started late Sunday, but authorities said the fire was put out more than 30 hours later, at around 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

Built in the 1920s, the building has been declared an “important cultural property" and part of Philippine history. It even survived the Battle of Manila during World War II in 1945.

READ: How the Manila Central Post Office made its mark in PH history

Some lawmakers said the government should now work with the Department of Budget and Management in looking for funds for the immediate restoration of the historic structure.