Press Release
July 13, 2023

Jinggoy wants Baclaran Church declared as a heritage site and tourist destination

FOLLOWING the National Museum's recent declaration of Baclaran Church as an "important cultural property" (ICP), Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada has filed a bill seeking to have the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help and its surroundings declared a heritage site and tourist destination.

"Wednesdays are acknowledged as 'Baclaran Day' by many Filipino Catholic families and visited by thousands of pilgrims, as much as 150,000 devotees from all walks of life, every week," said Estrada, himself a known Baclaran Church devotee.

In his Senate Bill No. 2278, Estrada said Baclaran Church has become deeply embedded in the spiritual life of Filipinos and is an important part of the rich tradition of Catholic Filipinos, especially those residing in Metro Manila and nearby areas.

"The Redemptorist Church, also known as the National Shrine, is undeniably one of the most popular churches in the Philippines and is considered one of the largest Marian churches in the country, attracting a multitude of devotees as well as tourists," Estrada said.

The senator emphasized the significance of declaring the Baclaran Church compound along Roxas Boulevard in Parañaque City as a heritage site and tourist destination.

"This declaration aims to institutionalize a policy that will preserve its historical and sociocultural importance, ensuring the accessibility, convenience, and security of its numerous visitors through the construction, installation, and maintenance of appropriate facilities and infrastructure in the area," Estrada said.

As a declared heritage site and tourist destination, the Department of Tourism (DOT), in coordination with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the local government of Parañaque, and other relevant agencies, will develop a tourism development plan for the site. This plan will include the construction, installation, and maintenance of suitable facilities and infrastructure to enhance the overall features of the surroundings of Baclaran Church, while also ensuring accessibility and the security of tourists.

Estrada noted that funding for the implementation of the tourism development plan will be included in the budget of the local government of Parañaque. Additionally, the DOT will provide technical assistance in tourism capacity building and include Baclaran Church in its national and regional promotion programs.

Since Baclaran Church has been declared as an ICP by the National Museum of the Philippines (NMP), the 65-year-old shrine, designed in modern Romanesque architecture by Cesar Concio and Jesse Bontoc, may receive government subsidies for its preservation and conservation.

Estrada's bill will ensure funding for the tourism development plan, with the possibility of the DOT supplementing it with internally generated funds.


Baclaran Church, gawing heritage site at tourist destination - Jinggoy

MATAPOS ideklara ng National Museum ang Baclaran Church bilang isang "important cultural property," naghain si Senador Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada ng panukalang batas para hirangin ang National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help at ang lugar sa paligid nito bilang isang heritage site at tourist destination.

"Nakasanayan na natin na tuwing Miyerkoles ay 'Baclaran Day' dahil maraming Pilipinong Katoliko ang bumibisita sa simbahang ito at dinadayo ito ng umaabot sa 150,000 katao sa kada linggo," sabi ni Estrada na isang deboto ng Baclaran Church.

Sa kanyang Senate Bill No. 2278, sinabi ni Estrada na bahagi na ng ispiritwal na buhay ng mga Pilipino ang simbahan ng Baclaran at parte na rin ito ng makasaysayang tradisyon ng mga Katoliko sa bansa, lalo na ang mga naninirahan sa Metro Manila at mga kalapit na lugar.

"Hindi maikakaila na ang Redemptorist Church na kilala rin bilang National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual ay isa sa pinakasikat na simbahan sa bansa at itinuturing na isa sa pinakamalaking Marian churches sa bansa na umaakit ng maraming deboto at turista," sabi ni Estrada.

Binigyan diin rin ng senador ang kahalagahan ng pagdedeklara sa Baclaran Church compound sa Roxas Boulevard sa Parañaque City bilang isang heritage site at tourist destination.

"Ang deklarasyong ito ay layong itatag ang isang patakaran na magpapanatili ng kahalagahan nito sa kasaysayan at panlipunang kultura, pati na rin ang pagtiyak ng accessibility, convenience at kaligtasan ng mga bumibisita dito sa pamamagitan ng pagtatayo at pagpapanatili ng angkop na pasilidad at imprastruktura sa lugar," pahayag ni Estrada.

Sa paghirang dito bilang isang heritage site at tourist destination, aatasan ang Department of Tourism (DOT) na makipagtulungan sa National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), lokal na pamahalaan ng Parañaque, at iba pang kinauukulang ahensya na maglatag ng plano para mapaunlad ang turismo sa lugar. Kasama sa plano na ito ang pagtatayo, paglalagay, at pagpapanatili ng angkop na pasilidad at imprastruktura upang mapahusay ang kabuuan ng paligid ng Baclaran Church, at tiyakin ang accessibility at seguridad ng mga turista.

Ayon kay Estrada, ang pondo para sa implementasyon ng tourism development plan ay isasama sa badyet ng lokal na pamahalaan ng Parañaque. Bukod dito, ang DOT ay magbibigay ng teknikal na tulong sa tourism capacity building at isasama ang Baclaran Church sa mga programa nito sa pambansa at rehiyonal na promosyon.

Dahil ang Baclaran Church ay idineklara na bilang isang ICP ng National Museum of the Philippines (NMP), maaaring makatanggap ito ng subsidiya mula sa pamahalaan para sa pangangalaga at pag-iingat nito.

Sisiguraduhin naman ng panukalang batas ni Estrada ang paglagak ng pondo para sa tourism development at posibleng dagdagan pa ito ng DOT mula sa kanilang sariling pinagkukunan ng pondo.

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