Old Spanish Lighthouses in the Philippines:
Spanish era lighthouses in the Philippines # 1
Spanish era lighthouses in the Philippines # 2
Spanish era bridges, ports, and lighthouses in the Philippines # 3
Spanish era lighthouses in the Philippines # 4
Filipino Conservation Society for old structures and buldings in the Philippines
ARTICLE # 1: DRIVE TO REHABILITATE LIGHTHOUSES
Manila, April 25, 2001 - The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has foreseen the importance of the country’s lighthouses, which are reportedly in a state of ruin.
PCG commandant Rear Adm. Reuben Lista said the private sector would work hand-in-hand with the government to give a "new lease on life" to these decrepit navigational aide.
Getting support from Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Pantaleon Alvarez, the PCG will soon launch its "Adopt a Lighthouse" program with the theme "Ilaw mo, Buhay ko."
Under a memorandum of agreement, interested corporations or individuals may "adopt" any of the 20 strategically located lighthouses to restore and maintain them.
The government has allocated P2.4 million for the upkeep of 479 lighthouses in the country, with each lighthouse enjoying a yearly budget of only P50,000.
Lighthouses, buoys and beacons serve as aide to navigational traffic for the safe voyages of ships plying the country’s seacoast.
"The budget for these lighhouses is inadequate resulting in the neglect of most of them. Thus, we thought the private sector such as large corporations and concerned individuals could come in and adopt a lighthouse to finance its maintenance," Lista explained.
The "adoptees" could convert the 20 big lighthouses into tourist attractions and get a "return on their investments," Lista added.
As for smaller lighthouses, they have been relegated to barangays for their maintenance, while the much smaller ones to families living within them.
Lista said that the "adoptees" would be encouraged to periodically report to the PCG on the condition of these lighthouses. He also stressed that no alterations should be done on the structure especially the centuries-old ones.
Lista pointed out that such a program perfectly applies to the Cape Bojeador lighthouse in Burgos, Ilocos Norte, atop a hill overlooking the South China Sea. It serves as a station point for ships sailing towards the Pacific Coast.
Not only does it protect one of the treacherous bends of the vast Philippine coastline, but also earn the distinction of being the most visited light station in the country.
Due to the intense earthquake in 1990, its lens mechanism on its lantern collapsed and its alignment displaced.
Lista said the Coast Guard has retained the original mechanism for historic purposes. "Anyone who adopts this light station could convert the whole area into a tourist attraction," Lista said.
To jumpstart the "Adopt a Lighthouse" project, the PCG shall sponsor a golf tournament after the May 14 elections and its proceeds shall serve as a trust fund for its dissemination and documentation.