The restoration of the 207-year old St. Anne Parish in Piddig, Ilocos Norte has now commenced, church officials said.
According to Fr. Carlito “Joey” Ranjo Jr., Head of Restoration Committee of the Diocese of Laoag, it took two years for experts to study the structure and materials used to determine the correct approach to fully restore the church.
The ongoing restoration work is being handled by winning bidder J.S. Lim Construction and Trading and is focusing in such structures like the bell tower and perimeter walls, and retrofitting of the deteriorating businesses and wooden roofing.
The contractor also announced that it is in need of more highly-skilled workers in order to have the restoration works finished by early January of next year.
The National Historical Commission of the Philippines has funded the restoration project with an amount worth PhP 46.8 million pesos, in recognition of its historical value.
As one of the oldest churches in the provinces, the restoration is important in the rich history of Piddig, popularly known as the house of the Basi Revolt, according to Carminda Arevalo, NHCP Deputy Director for Administration.
“The church has witnessed so much devastation over the course of time. It’s now our time to put in our faith, to endure and cooperate with one another, to continue the living faith of our ancestors through this church restoration,” Bishop Renato Mayugba of the Diocese of Laoag said.
Last September 2014, the local government unit of Piddig through its Municipal Engineer recommended the closure of the church as it was deemed “unfit for occupancy.”