The Manila Central Post Office building was badly damaged after a massive fire hit the historical building just before midnight on Sunday, according to the Philippine capital’s fire bureau.
The blaze escalated to the highest level of alarm at 5:54 am on Monday and was brought under control by dozens of firefighters by 7:22 am, said local media.
“The structure is totally burned. This is 100%. This is truly saddening because the building is old. It is part of our history. But we really couldn’t handle it. The structure needs to be preserved,” Postmaster General Luis Carlos said on Monday.
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The National Museum considers the Manila Post Office Building as an “important cultural property,” owing to its exceptional cultural, artistic, and historical significance to the country.
Under the law, a landmark declared as an important cultural property is eligible for government funding for its protection, conservation, and restoration.
Located at the bank of the Pasig River, the neo-classical building at Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila was designed by architects Tomas Mapua, Juan Marcos Arellano and Ralph Doane, according to the Philippine Postal Corporation. It was rebuilt in 1946 after it was badly damaged in the Battle of Manila during World War II in 1945.