Twenty-one of the 25 earthquake-damaged churches in the Diocese of Tagbilaran have already been restored, a church official said.
Adding to the list is the Santo Niño Parish Church in Cortes town, whose restoration work was completed early this year.
Fr. Milan Ted Torralba of the diocese’s Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church said the repair work for four other churches are expected to be completed next year.
The priest said the restoration work of the remaining churches would have been completed this year if not for the coronavirus pandemic.
The original plan, he said, was to rebuild and restore all the churches by this year in preparation for 500th anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines next year.
“But the pace went slow because of the pandemic so they move the date to next year,” said Fr. Torralba, who is also the executive secretary of the bishops’ Commission on Cultural Heritage of the Church.
The Tagbilaran diocese is also celebrating its 80th anniversary in November 2021.
According to him, 11 of the 25 churches were covered by the government’s national calamity-related reconstruction and restoration program.
He was referring to the structures declared by the government’s cultural agencies as national cultural treasures, national historical landmark and important cultural properties.
The US bishops also helped in the repair of some other churches, especially those not in the list of heritage structures and did not receive government support.
The restored churches are in the towns of Baclayon, Alburquerque, Loay, Dimiao, Dauis, Panglao, Cortes, Valencia, Garcia-Hernandez, Tubigon, Balilihan, Corella, Clarin, Calape, Lila, Sikatuna, Catigbian, Sevilla, Sagbayan, Batuan, Tagbilaran.
Meanwhile, the churches whose restoration works are ongoing are in the parishes of Loboc, Maribojoc, Loon and Antequera.
The 7.2-magnitude tremor on Oct. 15, 2013 also damaged nine churches in the Talibon diocese, located in the northern part of Bohol island, but all of them are restored now.