Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Iloilo’s old rehabilitation jail to be converted into a regional museum

ILOILO CITY, May 31 (PNA) – The provincial government is eyeing the conversion of its old rehabilitation center into a regional museum.

This was disclosed recently by Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. before members of the Iloilo Economic Development (ILED) Foundation even as he urged their support in the endeavor recently.

The old rehab center is situated at the back of the regional office of the Department of Tourism (DOT) and adjacent to the new provincial capitol.

“We will retain its original façade but we want it to be a museum. We want it to be a regional museum that will house all the artifacts, treasures and works of art not only of the city and province of Iloilo but for those willing to participate from provinces like Aklan and Antique and hopefully of Negros Occidental,” he said.

Defensor also asked the support of former tourism Secretary Narzalina Lim, Ilonggo Senator Franklin Drilon and affluent Ilonggos who believe in art and history to extend support to the endeavor.

Meantime, Defensor announced that the restoration of the old provincial capitol to its original design which is expected to boost the tourism industry in this city, is set to commence next month.

“We want to restore it to its original. We want it to be a proud symbol of the glorious past of the province and city of Iloilo,” he said, as he urged the business and private sector support especially on logistical needs.

The old building was already declared as a historical site by the National Historical Institute (NHI). The structure was built during the Spanish era and was the official house of the provincial government since April 11, 1901.

To complement the restoration of the old provincial capitol, Defensor said that he is asking a master planner to prepare a master plan covering the entire capitol area from the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) area towards the Arroyo Fountain.

“It turned out to be a beautiful place and will become part of the tourist attraction not of the province but of the city of Iloilo,” he said. (PNA)

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