Fort San Pedro restoration gains momentum

The restoration of the iconic and historic Fort San Pedro area is poised to start. (Iloilo City Hall photo)

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor

The excavation and pre-restoration works of Fort San Pedro are gaining significant development after the city council approved a resolution authorizing the city government to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with cultural agencies.

During its regular session on Wednesday, June 26, the city council approved the resolution allowing a MOA between the city government, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), and the National Museum of the Philippines (NMP).

The main objective of the project is to investigate and determine the original foundation of Fort San Pedro Iloilo through excavation works.

“This will help identify the original architectural and structural components that will become part of a restoration plan for the property,” said Frances Grace V. Parcon-Torres, chair of the Committee on Rules, Ordinances, Resolutions, Style, Justice, and Legal Affairs.

“To preserve this historical site, this project will involve excavation works to uncover and explore the remains of its storied past,” she added.

Parcon-Torres further emphasized that the restoration initiative aims not only to enhance the site but also to understand Fort San Pedro’s historical significance, ensuring it remains a valuable and accessible destination for future generations.

Fort San Pedro Iloilo, also known as Fuerza De Nuestra Señora Del Rosario, was first built of wood in 1602 and later rebuilt in stone in 1616. It served as a waterfront defense during World War II.

The fort was damaged by war in 1945 and subsequently demolished.

In the pre-restoration work, there will be six initial test pit locations, each measuring 8 meters by 5 meters and 3 meters deep, for the excavation and pre-restoration activities.

If the historical property is determined to be ineligible for the next phase, the NMP stated that the area will be restored to its original condition before the start of the project.

The project is set to affect only one household, Marie Cordova of the Fort San Pedro Drive Inn, who has already expressed no objection to the proposed project.

The pre-restoration of the cultural property is estimated to cost P4 million, with funding allocated from the NMP’s budget as specified under the 2024 General Appropriations Act.


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