PHLPost welcomes move to preserve historic MCPO building 

The Philippine Postal Corporation has taken initial steps towards restoring the fire-hit Manila Central Post Office building.

“We welcomed the move of Secretary Christina Frasco of the Department of Tourism to aid in the funding of the Detailed Architectural and Engineering Study through the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority,” Postmaster General Luis Carlos said.

The DoT is now looking at developing the iconic building as part of a cultural circuit in Manila.

Built in 1926, the MCPO building was declared an Important Cultural Property by the National Museum of the Philippines in 2018. These cultural properties are eligible to receive government funding for its protection, conservation and restoration. The building is neoclassical, designed by Juan Arellano and Tomas Mapua.

The Inter Agency Task Force for Cultural Heritage is composed of cultural authorities including the DoT, PHLPost and the city government of Manila, worked together in the formulation of DAES which is now with TIEZA for the procurement process.

“As you can see, this is an integrated, multi-sectoral and collaborative process whereby different agencies come together to address complex challenges in order for us to immediately restore the historic edifice,” Carlos added.

While PHLPost is waiting for the implementation of DAES, a conservation architect has been tapped to identify the items or materials left by a fire that has historical value and facilitate its tagging, cataloging and retrieval to serve as a reference in the actual restoration of the MCPO building.

PHLPost is also working on the shoring of the building. This is a process to temporarily support the structure, vessel, or trench with shores (a timber or metal props) to avoid danger of collapsing during repairs or alterations.

“After the fire, the rain waters are trapped in the third floor. PHLPost undertook declogging of the gutters and now rain waters are running off the building,” he said.

PHLPost has received different proposals as to the use of the building.

Immediately after the fire, PHLPost created the Disaster Recovery and Rehabilitation Committee tasked to coordinate and oversee activities related to disaster recovery and rehabilitation efforts, restore normalcy in all affected offices as efficiently as possible and create an internal Special Working Group.