Bohol First District Representative Rene Relampagos expressed optimism that Boholâ€™s ongoing restoration projects will help the province maintain its rank as one of the top cultural destinations in the country.
Relampagos, chair of the House committee on Tourism, said Boholâ€™slarge-scale recovery efforts, such as the restoration of centuries-old churches and other collapsed structures that were severely damaged by the October 2013 earthquake, are vital to boosting tourism activity in the province.
â€œHistoric structures in Bohol are reflections of our rich history and culture. I cannot overemphasize the importance of culture and heritage inthe tourism sector because they bring people back to the places, artifacts and activities that represent the stories and people of our past,â€ he stressed.
The restoration of the provinceâ€™s heritage sites such as the Dauis Watchtower, which is part of the Dauis Church that was heavily damaged during the earthquake, he stressed, is one great effort to salvage our cultural heritage.
â€œWe are very grateful for the help extended to us by various organizations such as the Bohol Restoration Group (BRG), a non-profit organization based in Washington D.C., the National Museum of the Philippines, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the National Heritage Commission, the Leyte Diocese, the local government of Bohol, among others,â€ Relampagos added.
Relampagos also expressed gratitude to the Spanish government for providing skilled workers and out-of-school youth in Bohol a great opportunity to take part in the restoration of the provinceâ€™s ruined structures particularly the Dauis Watchtower through the Escuela Taller de Filipinasâ€™ satellite training program for conservation and restoration and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).
â€œPreserving our cultural heritage remains a challenging responsibility but with hard work, good governance and collective efforts, we can make great achievements.â€ Relampagos said.