ILOILO – The century-old edifice that once hosts thousands of prisoners here will be transformed into a museum before the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Ministerial Meeting on September 2015.
Director Jeremy Barns, along with Dr. Ana Labrador, of the National Museum disclosed this during their meeting with Governor Arthur Defensor Sr.
Barns said converting the old Iloilo Rehabilitation Center into a regional extension museum-gallery of the National Museum will serve as their flagship project for 2015.
A whooping P80-million budget from the national coffers has been set aside and will be co-mingled with the province’s P19-million budget to realize the project.
Defensor said they expect the bidding for the restoration of the old jail to commence within three weeks following the modification of its architectural design by next week.
“The design created by Architect Guillermo Hisancha has to be consulted with the architects of the National Museum first,” Defensor said.
The usufruct and other documentary requirements, on the other hand, will be submitted to Sangguniang Panlalawigan’s scrutiny and approval.
“We will let the National Museum manage the project because they have the skills and expertise on the matter,” he said.
The jail museum, once finished, will become a tourist attraction showcasing the rich culture and heritage not only of the city and province of Iloilo but of the whole region.
The old IRC, created in 1911 with a lot area of 868 square meters, has the capacity to accommodate more than a thousand prisoners.
It was, however, abandoned after the completion of the new provincial jail in Barangay Nanga, Pototan town in 2oo6.
Meanwhile, Barns said they will also restore the old municipal hall of Jaro in Iloilo City into its original form and make it their headquarters by next year.
The structure, according to him, will host their training and technical assistance center.
It will be realized thru the P13-million grant from Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA). #2014News