Are old churches in Manila quake-proof?
MANILA -- The crumbling of centuries-old churches in Bohol has raised concerns on just how quake-proof are the old churches in the city of Manila.
There are around 37 Catholic churches in Manila.
One of them is the oldest church in the country, the San Agustin Church built way back in 1589.
The Binondo Church was constructed in the 1590s but it was rebuilt after being destroyed during World War II.
The Santa Ana Church or Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish, meanwhile, was built in 1720.
Its bell tower was destroyed in World War II but the rest of the church is still intact.
Father Eric Ollague is now expressing concern about the churches in Manila after several of Bohol's historical churches were damaged in Tuesday's massive quake.
"Eye opener na rin sa ating lahat at sa amin din upang ingatan natin ang mga simbahan," Ollague said.
The Manila Building Office admitted it has been focusing more on inspections of schools and other buildings rather than churches.
"We have annual inspection team but I have to verify kung they are conducting inspection on all churches," said Engr. Juan Capuchino, officer-in-charge of the Manila Building Office.
The Manila Cathedral has already been temporarily closed for retrofitting after cracks were discovered.
The Manila City Hall, meanwhile, has vowed to step up inspections of churches to ensure these are safe and can withstand earthquakes.