Lawmaker seeks probe into Manila Central Post Office fire
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Robinhood Padilla is calling for a probe into the fire that gutted the Manila Central Post Office.
Padilla filed Senate Resolution No. 627 on Monday, which directs the appropriate panel to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the blaze that struck the building late Sunday night and lasted for more than a day.
He noted that the Senate probe would be conducted “with the aim of revisiting and strengthening policies for the preservation and protection of cultural properties against fire and other hazards.”
“The Manila Central Post Office is a tangible representation of the nation’s culture and history, and its damage is a blow to the country’s cultural heritage,” the legislator said.
The recent fire, Padilla noted, highlighted “the vulnerability of our national cultural heritage” to various hazards. Thus, he pressed on the urgent need to review and reassess the effectiveness of current measures to maintain and safeguard it.
“It is of public interest to provide policies that will prevent or mitigate the effect of fire and other hazards to protect and preserve our national cultural heritage,” he added.
In 2018, the National Museum declared the Manila Central Post Office as an “important cultural property (ICP).”
Under the National Cultural Heritage Act, ICPs may receive government funding for their protection, conservation, and restoration.
Earlier, Senate President Pro Tempore also called for authorities to probe the “tragic and heartbreaking” fire that razed the building.
“I call on our authorities to investigate the cause of the fire, so that this occurrence will never happen again. We must protect our historical sites such as this significant architectural inheritance,” she said in a statement.