Victory for Cabatuan cemetery chapel!

Workers demolish the controversial cemetery chapel extension. With vigilance, comes victory!

Workers demolish the controversial cemetery chapel extension. With vigilance, comes victory! Photo by NEREO CAJILIG LUJAN

With vigilance, comes victory!

And this was experienced in Cabatuan, Iloilo, where the parish priest, Fr. Patricio Salarda, bowed down to the outcry and had his controversial cemetery chapel extension, which the local government said was illegally built, demolished.

This just proves that heritage awareness is alive in these modern times and with the power of social media that eventually seeped in to the traditional media outlets, can do wonders.

Of course, our great thanks to Nereo Cajilig Lujan who acted on the defacement of the heritage cemetery chapel in the first place. Without him, we would have just woken up to an illegal structure already finished.

I do hope that in the future, we can effect heritage awareness not only in Cabatuan but in the rest of the country where countless mindless defacement and destruction, in the name of restoration or improvements have led to the great loss of our heritage treasures.

Let us savor this victory!

Below is the news item that made us smile and proud!

Priest to demolish cemetery chapel

By: Tara Yap and FAAngelo

THE PARISH priest of the Catholic Church in Cabatuan, Iloilo has decided to demolish the chapel extension constructed in front of the century-old camposanto of the town’s cemetery.

Msgr. Patricio Salarda said he did not intend to deface or cause rancor with his project, thus he decided to order the dismantling of the new structure.

Salarda said he will return the money donated by a family for the construction of the chapel extension.

“We only wanted to provide shelter to the faithful who attend the mass held every first Monday of the month and during funerals. It was never our intention to destroy the camposanto,” Salarda said.

The camposanto extension caused uproar among Cabatuananons and heritage conservationists as it will deface the old structure constructed in the 19th century.

Meanwhile, the municipal government of Cabatuan said the extension chapel has no building permit.

Mayor Robert Maroma said he ordered the Cabatuan Municipal Engineering Office to investigate the construction.

Municipal Engineer Jose Pancrudo said the National Building Code requires both government and private institutions including religious institutions to apply for a building permit prior to start of construction, repair or demolishment of a structure.

Pancrudo said Msgr. Salarda should have submitted documents including land title, survey plan and design plan in order for the application to be processed.

Pancrudo noted that while the construction sits in the property of the Parish of Cabatuan, it is still covered by the National Building Code.

A heritage advocate earlier said that the construction of the extension structure must secure approval from the Archdiocesan Commission on Cultural Heritage of the Jaro Archdiocese.

Nereo Lujan, chief of the information office of the Iloilo Provincial Capitol and a Cabatuan native, initially exposed what he called as a desecration of a heritage structure.

This news item originally posted March 7, 2013 12:19 AM at The Daily Guardian news site.

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  • Bulakenyo Ako

    kung noon pa sana tayo naging vigilant sa mga old heritage natin ang dami natin sanang naisalbang estrakturang na mga ipina-demolis ng mga hindi nakaka-intinding pari at gahamang kontraktor sa bansa.

  • estancabigas

    Bulakenyo, I agree. Sayang ang mga nawala nating mga heritage structures dati pa