LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – The Provincial Government of Pangasinan is set to receive P50 million grant from the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) for the third and final phase restoration of the historic Casa Real.
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) has authorized Governor Amado “Pogi” I. Espino, III to enter into a memorandum of agreement(MOA) with TIEZA to formalize the fund release via a resolution approved recently at the SP Session Hall, Capitol Building here.
“The (SP) fully supports the rehabilitation of the Casa Real because it is worthy of protection and preservation not only for its monumental significance,” the resolution, authored by Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Calimlim Jr., stated.
Calimlim said that the MOA shall serve as the basis for the release of funds for the renovation project, which shall be released in four tranches.
Restoration efforts on the landmark structure were initiated by the former Gov. and now 5th District Representative Amado T. Espino, Jr., in line with the socio-cultural renaissance revival program he has started in Pangasinan.
The province shelled out P5-milion for the initial phase of the building’s rehab, with 2nd District Rep. Leopoldo Bataoil having lobbied 30-million funding from TIEZA and the Department of Public Works and Highways for the second phase.
As reported, Bataoil said that full restoration of the Casa Real will be completed by end of the year as it is set to be unveiled as a museum in time for the 437th Agew na Pangasinan celebration on April 5 next year.
Casa Real (or Royale House) once served as Pangasinan’s provincial seat of government during the Spanish colonization period in the Philippines.
It had been published that the building is recognized as one of the oldest public buildings and was declared a National Landmark by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, for being “an outstanding and unique example of civil architecture from the Spanish and American colonial periods.”
By Dexter A. See