Philippine Red Cross Chairman and CEO and former Department of Tourism Secretary Richard J. Gordon lamented the loss of the historic Manila central post office today to a fire that razed the building from 11:41 pm on Sunday until 7:30 am today.
“I want to express my utmost regret and consternation at the loss of this heritage treasure! During my tenure as Tourism secretary, we were at a crucial stage where the owners of the
Fullerton Hotel in Singapore were going to convert it into a 5-star hotel, similar to what they did with the old post office of Singapore. However, the events in 2003 failed to establish the nation’s stability and prevented the agreement. I hope that we can still have it rehabilitated, following the example of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris,” Gordon said.
As soon as the Philippine Red Cross Operations Center received the report about the fire, it deployed a PRC fire truck to the scene. From 11:43 pm on Sunday until the general alarm was raised at 5:30 am today, PRC deployed two fire trucks, one fire tanker, four ambulance units, 12 firefighters, and at least 14 EMS personnel from their stations in Manila City Chapter, PRC National Headquarters in EDSA-Mandaluyong, Port Area Manila, and Caloocan City Chapter.
Gordon also commended the PRC volunteers who responded. “I commend our volunteer responders who are always ready to be at the scene, working tirelessly alongside the BFP,”
“It is disheartening that a national treasure now lies in ruins,” he added.