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Legarda Lauds Out-of-School Youth for Helping Rebuild Dauis Watchtower

April 20, 2015

Senator Loren Legarda today lauded Bohol’s skilled workers and out-of-school youth who were part of the Dauis Watchtower restoration project and asked them to continue to be guardians of Philippine heritage.

Legarda made the statement during the turnover of the Dauis Watchtower and Escuela Taller Satellite Training Program Graduation Ceremony in Dauis, Bohol.

“It was heartbreaking to see centuries-old churches in Bohol and Cebu crumble down to an earthquake in October 2013. But after I saw the works of the graduates of Escuela Taller, I felt a renewed sense of hope. I thought that with the skill acquired by the Escuela Taller graduates and their love for our culture and history, they can greatly contribute to restoring these historic structures. True enough, today is living proof of that hope. I am overjoyed to witness the turnover of the Dauis watchtower. Indeed, the students of Escuela Taller did not fail us,” she said.

The Dauis Watchtower, which is part of the Dauis Church that was damaged during the 2013 earthquake in Bohol, was restored by the trainees of Escuella Taller de Filipinas’ satellite training program for conservation and restoration masonry construction. A total of 30 Boholanos, both out-of-school youth and skilled workers, joined the program.

“To the students of Escuela Taller’s satellite program, not only are you lucky for being scholars of this institution. You are also blessed because you have been given the chance to hone your skills to be utilized for a noble purpose. You are now part of Philippine history for your role in rebuilding the Dauis Watchtower,” Legarda said in her keynote message.

The Senator also thanked the Spanish Government for bringing the Escuela Taller to the Philippines, through the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), and the people behind Escuela Taller de Filipinas for their efforts in helping restore built heritage while addressing unemployment, especially among out-of-school youth Filipinos.

“The preservation of our heritage is a continuing challenge. Instead of destroying historic structures, we should adopt the concept of adaptive reuse, wherein heritage structures are restored and used for a new purpose. This is already being done in Intramuros and there is no reason why it cannot be done in other parts of the country as well, especially now that the number of skilled workers for heritage conservation and restoration will gradually increase through the Escuela Taller program,” Legarda stressed.

“We hope that our government agencies would see this as an opportunity to generate more jobs through restoration and conservation of age-old structures. When we have restored our heritage structures, we can further boost cultural tourism in our areas of heritage to produce more jobs and generate bigger income for our citizens and local governments,” Legarda concluded.