Sponsorship Speech: Resolution Creating a Special Committee on the Rehabilitation of the Manila Central Post Office

May 31, 2023

Senate President Pro Tempore

Resolution Creating a Special Committee
on the Rehabilitation of
the Manila Central Post Office
31 May 2023

Mr. President, my dear colleagues of this august chamber,

During the late evening of 21 May 2023, a massive fire broke out at the historic Manila Central Post Office, resulting in the destruction of the iconic building and famous landmark in Manila. This caught the attention of every Filipino and left our hearts heavy and our spirits saddened. One of the country’s historic buildings has been engulfed in flames and reduced cultural treasures to ashes.

Originally built in 1926, the Manila Central Post Office is a masterpiece of neoclassical design by renowned architects Tomas Mapua, Juan Marcos Arellano, and Ralph Doane to house the headquarters of the then Bureau of Posts. After being severely damaged during the battle of Manila in 1945, the Manila Central Post Office was rebuilt in 1946 and has since then continued to serve as the center of Philippine postal services, and served as the headquarters of the Philippine Postal Corporation for its mail sorting-distribution operations immediately prior to the fire.

The Manila Central Post Office building has witnessed the ebb and flow of time, a silent observer of countless stories, events, and memories. The ravages of the devastating fire threatened to erase a part of our history. It is unfortunate that this incident took place during the National Heritage Month.

This important cultural heritage holds immeasurable value, and its destruction is a profound loss for us Filipinos. The Manila Central Post Office is not just a building from a bygone era. It is a part of our identity, our collective memory, and our legacy that has stood for generations.

The preservation of our historical treasures should not only be a passion, but a lifelong mission; and preserving our cultural heritage is not just about the physical structures but also about the intangible aspects—the stories, traditions, and values that are intricately woven into the fabric of this building. This restoration project is a tribute to those who have come before us, to their craftsmanship, and their vision. It is a commitment to future generations, a promise that we will pass on this rich heritage, instilling in them a sense of pride and responsibility.

As legislators, let us take up the mantle of stewardship so we can breathe new life into this magnificent structure. This august chamber can exhibit our unwavering commitment and collective efforts to allow this heritage to stand tall once again.

We must stand firm in our belief and the trust of Filipinos that the national government and concerned agencies must work hand in hand to restoring and rehabilitate this significant structure. With this, we propose the creation of a Special Committee to be known as the “Senate Special Committee on the Rehabilitation of the Manila Central Post Office.” This committee will be responsible for studying, reviewing, assessing, examining, investigating, and inquiring about various aspects related to the reconstruction and rehabilitation of this historic site as well as options for the redevelopment of its context.

Under this Special Committee, we commit to restore this heritage site to its former glory, not only for ourselves but also for future generations, ensuring that the legacy of our ancestors lives on.

May this tragedy serve as a catalyst for renewed dedication and collective action. Together, let us rebuild, not just a structure, but also the heart and spirit of our nation. Let us reclaim what has been reduced to ashes and preserve our cultural legacy for our sons and daughters.

Thank you, Mr. President.