The Magella's Cross in Limasawa Island.
The Magella’s Cross in Limasawa Island.

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, (PIA) – In an apparent view to create a concrete historical mark where the first Christian Mass in the Philippines and Asia was celebrated, a 15-meter-high cross structure is expected constructed in Limasawa island, Southern Leyte.

This was discussed  in the Regional Development Council Meeting, Infrastructure and Utilities Development Committee (RDC-IUDC) being chaired by DPWH Director Rolando Asis.

The discussion emanated from Sangguniang Panlalawigan Resolution No. 720, endorsing to RDC 08, request for funding assistance for the construction of the said National Shrine in barangay Magallanes, Limasawa town.

Records show that Limasawa island has been declared a tourism zone on November 18, 1994 by virtue of R.A.7822, declaring further that the island shall be “accorded priority development by the Department of Tourism (DOT).”

Upon evaluation, the RDC-8 Secretariat henceforth, said among others, that the proposed tourism infra project, with an estimate cost of P10M is consistent with the LGUs National Tourism Development Plan and, since “it will be constructed on a government property, it is eligible for funding assistance by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA).”

The evaluation added, however, that the proponent LGU will have to submit DENR’s Environmental Compliance Certificate(ECC) issued by the Environment Management Bureau as they shall likewise has to share a counterpart contribution of some 10% of the estimated project cost or in a form of labor or materials.

Once, completed, the Historical Monument is expected to draw-in more tourists to the region, with a better Ro-Ro port and other facilities that are up for construction. To add more uniqueness to the monument, modern restrooms are expected built inside the big Cross Monument.

History tells that on March 16, 1521, Magellan discovered Philippines, by anchoring first in Homonhon island of Guiuan, Eastern Samar, but previous claims for the first mass to be celebrated in the same shores, remained unfounded to date. (PIA-08).