An official from the Diocese of Tagbilaran reported that 21 of the 25 churches damaged by an earthquake in Bohol on Oct. 15, 2013 have been restored.
Fr. Milan Ted Torralba of the diocese’s Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church said the latest to be restored is the Sto. Niño Parish Church in Cortes whose restoration work was completed early this year.
Other restored churches are in Baclayon, Alburquerque, Loay, Dimiao, Dauis, Panglao, Valencia, Garcia-Hernandez, Tubigon, Balilihan, Corella, Clarin, Calape, Lila, Sikatuna, Catigbian, Sevilla, Sagbayan, Batuan, and Tagbilaran.
In a CBCP News post, he said 11 of the 25 churches were covered by the government’s national calamity-related reconstruction and restoration program.
These are structures declared by the government’s cultural agencies as national cultural treasures, national historical landmark, and important cultural properties.
Torralba said US bishops also helped in the repair of some other churches, especially those not in the list of heritage structures and did not receive government support.
According to the priest, the repair work for four other churches are expected to be completed next year.
Torralba added that the restoration work of the remaining churches would have been completed this year if not for the coronavirus pandemic.
He said the original plan was to rebuild and restore all the churches by this year in preparation for 500th anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines next year.
The Tagbilaran diocese is also celebrating its 80th anniversary in November 2021.
“But the pace went slow because of the pandemic so they move the date to next year,” said Torralba, who is also the executive secretary of the bishops’ Commission on Cultural Heritage of the Church.
Churches in Bohol whose restoration works are ongoing are in the parishes of Loboc, Maribojoc, Loon, and Antequera.
The 7.2-magnitude tremor on Oct. 15, 2013 also damaged nine churches in the Talibon diocese, located in the northern part of Bohol, but all of them have been restored.