Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez has assured Bacolod Bishop Patricio Buzon of help in expediting the National Historical Commission’s permission for them to resume the restoration and repair of the San Sebastian Cathedral.
The NHC earlier issued a Cease and Desist Order on the repairs but the bishop informed Benitez that it was necessary to among others ensure the safety of the electrical wirings at the Cathedral and for the repair of its roofing.
The bishop assured that the Church will collaborate with the NHC and follow its requirements in the conduct of the repairs and restoration, Benitez said on Monday, February 12.
The mayor said during their meeting he also informed the bishop of the decision to no longer allow vendors‘ stalls around the plaza to preserve its aesthetics.
He, however, assured the bishop that the Diocese of Bacolod will be compensated for the loss of income from stall rentals, Benitez said.
Benitez said the funds generated by the Diocese of Bacolod from the rentals are used for the care of its retired priests.
The mayor said if the funds from the city government cannot be used to compensate the Church, he will find other means to do so.
The mayor said the bishop likes his plans for the renovation of the Bacolod public plaza that will include enhanced fountains, lights and music.
The beautification of the plaza is expected to start this year with the help of First Lady Liza Araneta Marcos in sourcing the funds needed, estimated at P80 to P100 million, he said.*