ILOILO – Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. has been officially informed by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines that the old Iloilo Rehabilitation Center will be restored and converted into a regional extension museum-gallery of the National Museum with a budget of P80-million from the national government.
Director Jeremy Barns and Dr. Ana Labrador of the National Museum will meet the governor on August 21 to discuss the plan for restoration, site inspection, deed of donation or usufruct and other documentary requirements for the project.
The governor said he is delighted that his dream to convert the century-old jail into a sanctuary of artifacts is becoming real with the help of the national government.
Prior to this development, the provincial government has appropriated P15-million for the restoration of the abandoned jail located adjacent to the Iloilo Provincial Capitol.
In fact, the bidding process for the contract covering the structural investigation, retrofitting, architectural and engineering designs and construction supervision of the project has begun.
Once complete, the governor is enthusiastic that the jail museum will become another tourist attraction in the city and province of Iloilo.
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.
In a related development, NHC will also release P9-million as additional funds to restore the historic church and convent of Sta. Barbara and P3-million for National Commission on Culture and Arts’ project for Miagao. #2014News