By Philippine News Agency
The National Museum officially declared the newly-restored Jaro Municipal Hall in Jaro, Iloilo City as Important Cultural Property, Friday.
The declaration by National Museum Director IV Jeremy Barns was announced following today’s blessing of the rehabilitated building. Important Cultural Properties have exceptional cultural, artistic or historical significance.
The structure designed by Filipino architect Juan Arellano was built in 1934. It is located across the Jaro Plaza.
“(The) old Jaro Municipal Hall in Jaro Iloilo City is an exceptional example of the Art Deco Style in the entire Philippines,” said Barns.
Jaro was once a municipality. In 1940 when the Commonwealth No. 604 amending certain sections of the Charter of the City of Iloilo was approved, Jaro officially became part of Iloilo City.
Before it was restored, it was used as headquarters of the Jaro Police Station.
The restoration cost more or less Php20 million.
“Under the Republic Act 1066, buildings declared as either Cultural Treasure or Important Cultural Properties get priority from the national government to protect and preserve them from natural disasters or damage,” Barns added. “So if something happens like calamity or human or natural (disaster) we can be assured there will be finding allocated sooner or later for preservation and restoration.”
The restoration was made possible through Republic Act 1055 or An Act Declaring the Jaro Cathedral, Molo Church, The Iloilo City Central Business District, Fort San Pedro, Jaro Plaza Complex, Molo Plaza Complex and Plaza Libertad Complex, all located in the City of Iloilo, as Cultural Heritage Tourism Zone authored by Iloilo City lone district representative Jerry Treñas.
“The restoration of this building is a great manifestation of Iloilo City’s great culture and colorful historical past and of course we are happy again, especially that Jaroeños and those who are involved in culture and arts have been working hard slowly but surely in restoring Iloilo City to what it was before,” said Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.
Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. of Iloilo province also said that building is also a symbol of pride and the fulfillment of the dreams in the past.
The renovated Municipal Hall will now serve as a satellite office of the National Museum in Region-6. The National Museum will fully fund the operation and maintenance expenses.
“This building can also serve as training center, conference facility, seminar (venue), and all frontline services that the National Museum offers,” said Barns.
There will be 16 plantilla positions for the satellite office here.
Barns expressed hoped that all issues affecting cultural properties and national cultural treasures in Region 6, can be easily addressed with the establishment of satellite office.