Thursday , 18 April 2024
National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Chairman Felipe de Leon (second from left) and Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) President and General Manager Robert Vergara (third from left) shake hands after the signing of the deed of absolute sale that transferred ownership of the historic Metropolitan Theater to NCCA. NCCA Officer-in-Charge Adelina Suemith (left), Budget Secretary Florencio Abad (fourth from left) and Real Estate Asset Disposition and Management Office VP Apollo Escarez (right) witnessed the signing of the deal.

NCCA, GSIS deal paves way for Met restoration

By Riza Lozada

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) took custody of the Manila Metropolitan Theater (Met) after the signing of a deed absolute sale with state pension fund Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

The agreement was signed between GSIS General Manager Robert Vergara and NCCA Chairman Felipe de Leon Jr.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad witnessed the signing ceremony held at the GSIS office in Manila.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released last month P270 million from the National Endowment Fund for Culture and the Arts (Nefca) to the NCCA to purchase the historic building from its owner, the GSIS.
The conservation of the Met wil be made commensurate with its status as a national cultural treasure and a national historical landmark, NCCA said.

The NCCA initially envisions a restored Met to become a center for arts and culture, with additional exhibition galleries and its theater and performance halls for use by artists and cultural workers as well as by students and the general public.

The commission also expects the Met to provide additional space for its various needs in the implementation of the National Cultural Heritage Act.

The DBM-released funds allowed the NCCA to buy the Met from the GSIS.

Abad said the NCCA’s move to purchase the MET represents the first crucial step in restoring the historical theater.

“The MET was once a testament to the richness of Philippine culture and artistry, but decades of neglect brought this beautiful landmark into serious disrepair. The Aquino administration, through the NCCA, has taken the first step to restoring the MET to its former glory. It will take some time, but we are confident that the NCCA has the capacity to take on such a formidable task,” Abad said.

Opened in 1931, the MET was designed by architect Juan Arellano—known for his work with Manila City’s Central Post Office Building and the National Museum—in the Art Deco style. Partially damaged in World War II, it had been restored and rehabilitated several times. It has been closed since 2012 due to the theater’s state of decay and issues with regard to its ownership.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *