Postmaster: Structural integrity assessment of Manila Central Post Office should be prioritized

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 23) — Following the massive fire that hit the historic Manila Central Post Office Sunday night, the Philippine Postal Corporation (Phlpost) said the building’s structural integrity must be immediately assessed amid calls for its swift restoration and preservation.

“I’m looking at a structural engineer to take a look at the integrity of the building, of the structure… sobra 'yung kasaysayan n'ya (it has so much history)… so first and foremost get a good structural engineer,” Phlpost Postmaster General Luis Carlos told CNN Philippines’ The Source on Tuesday.

The post office was hit by a massive fire late Sunday night that totally gutted the building. Authorities only declared the fire out after more than 30 hours.

Initial estimate of the damage was at ₱300 million.

The Manila Central Post Office was designed by renowned architects Tomas Mapua, Juan Marcos Arellano, and Ralph Doane in 1926 to house the headquarters of the then-Bureau of Posts.

The building barely survived the Battle of Manila in 1945. It was rebuilt the following year, retaining most of its original design.

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

The National Museum in 2018 declared it as an “important cultural property,” meaning it has an "exceptional cultural, artistic, and historical significance to the Philippines."

An important cultural property may receive government funding for its protection, conservation and restoration based on the law.

Given its historical significance, lawmakers are calling for the immediate restoration of the Manila Central Post Office.

Carlos said relevant agencies like the National Historical Commission of the Philippines have gotten in touch with them to check what parts of the structure can still be saved.