On May 22, 2023, a massive fire engulfed the Manila Central Post Office building in Manila, causing smoke to rise, as captured by REUTERS photographer Adrian Portugal.

Manila, Philippines — In a philanthropic move to aid the Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost) in recovering from the devastating fire that struck the iconic Manila Central Post Office in May, the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), a state insurer and pension fund, has made an initial payout of P100 million. The Manila Central Post Office, a historical landmark located at Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila, holds immense cultural significance as an Important Cultural Property declared by the National Museum of the Philippines in 2018.

The GSIS, responsible for insuring the Manila Central Post Office along with its furniture and fixtures, has provided coverage worth a total of P604 million. The recent preliminary payment of P100 million is intended to meet the immediate rehabilitation needs of the post office building. However, GSIS has stated that the full payment will be made only after a thorough evaluation of the adjuster’s report and upon the approval of the final payment offer.

Image source: Government Service Insurance System Official Facebook Page

The commitment of GSIS to assist in the restoration of the nation’s iconic post office has been reaffirmed by its President and General Manager, Wick Veloso. Acknowledging the historical and cultural significance of the building, Veloso emphasized the importance of preserving such architectural treasures for future generations.

The restoration process and settlement of the claim are contingent upon the completion of the loss evaluation. GSIS has expressed its dedication to facilitating a smooth and seamless recovery process for PHLPost.

Apart from the initial payout, GSIS has extended its support further by donating various office equipment, including tables, chairs, laptops, and desktop computers. This contribution aims to aid PHLPost in continuing its essential services without disruptions. Such contributions reflect GSIS’s commitment to social responsibility and its dedication to assisting the nation’s key institutions in times of need.

History of Manila Central Post Office

Image source: Kami.com.ph Official Facebook Page

The Manila Central Post Office is not merely a historical building; it embodies the rich heritage and cultural significance of the Philippines. Constructed in 1926, this architectural marvel stands as a testament to the country’s neoclassical heritage and craftsmanship. Designed by renowned architects Juan Arellano and Tomas Mapua, the building’s neoclassical style was a popular choice during that era, characterized by grand facades, majestic columns, and intricate detailing.

Throughout its storied existence, the Manila Central Post Office has been an integral part of the city’s landscape, serving as a hub for postal and communication services. Over the decades, the post office witnessed significant historical events, playing a crucial role in connecting people from all walks of life.

Image source: Kami.com.ph Official Facebook Page

The Manila Central Post Office is more than just a utilitarian structure; it represents a time when architecture embraced beauty, aesthetics, and functionality. The grandeur of its design is a reminder of the rich history and heritage of the Philippines.

Despite its resilience over the years, the post office faced numerous challenges, including natural disasters and the ravages of time. However, through the efforts of various organizations and government entities, the building’s historical and cultural value has been recognized and preserved.

In 2018, the National Museum of the Philippines bestowed the esteemed title of Important Cultural Property upon the Manila Central Post Office. This recognition cemented the building’s status as a cultural treasure and underscored its significance in the nation’s heritage.

As the post office begins its journey towards restoration following the tragic fire, the support extended by GSIS stands as a testament to the collective determination of safeguarding the nation’s cultural gems. The collaboration between GSIS and PHLPost serves as an inspiring example of public and private sectors coming together to preserve and protect the nation’s historical and architectural legacy.

In conclusion, the GSIS’s initial payout and office equipment donation to the Philippine Postal Corporation for the restoration of the Manila Central Post Office are vital steps in rebuilding and preserving this cultural landmark. By providing financial assistance and essential resources, GSIS exemplifies its commitment to supporting crucial national institutions and safeguarding the Philippines’ heritage. As the restoration process unfolds, the nation eagerly anticipates witnessing the revival of this iconic structure, which will continue to stand as a symbol of Philippine history and cultural identity for generations to come.