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Philippines : Solon seeks declaration of Immaculate Conception Parish Church as pilgrimage site and tourist destination.

A lady lawmaker has filed a measure declaring the Immaculate Conception Parish Church, Sanctuary of the Holy Face of Jesus in the province of Nueva Ecija as a pilgrimage site and tourist destination.

Rep. Estrellita B. Suansing (1st District, Nueva Ecija) said House Bill 5124 mandates the Department of Tourism (DOT) to come up with a comprehensive development plan involving the construction, installation, and maintenance of the sacred place improving the overall feature of the area and ensuring the accessibility of the pilgrims and tourists.

"With the enthronement of the Holy Face of Manoppello at the Immaculate Conception Parish Church in Nampicuan, it is anticipated that thousands of pilgrims, devotees and tourists will flock the small town," Suansing said.

Suansing said the Immaculate Conception Parish Church and the Municipality of Nampicuan have been bestowed a great blessing when the Holy Face of Manoppello - the veil "no human hands have made" and believed to miraculously bear an imprint of Christ's face, was formally enshrined in the church on September 15, 2014.

She said Radyo Veritas reported that Fr. Carmine Cucinelli, Rector of the Shrine and Basilica of the Holy Face in Manoppello in Italy, has chosen the church to be the center of devotion of the Holy Face of Manoppello in the country.

"It is said that the Holy Face has been housed for the last 500 years in the Capuchin Convent in Abruzzo, Pescara. Pope Benedict XVI's visits in the Shrine in the early days of his Papacy have drawn thousands of pilgrims to the small community. These Papal visits called unprecedented attention to the veil's major significance in the history of Jesus Christ's life on earth," Suansing said.

The measure mandates the DOT, in coordination with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and other concerned agencies of the government to prepare a development plan that shall ensure the preservation and conservation of the historical significance of the area.

The DOT and its attached agencies are directed to take immediate steps in implementing the tourist development plan that will suit the needs of the Immaculate Conception Parish Church, Sanctuary of the Holy Face of Jesus and shall incorporate the same in its overall development plans and programs for national implementation.

The funding requirements for the implementation of this Act shall be charged against the funds of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) in the annual General Appropriations Act (GAA).

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Publication:Mena Report
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Mar 31, 2016
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