The natural calamities that struck the Philippines in the recent years specially the earthquake in Bohol and Typhoon Yolanda in the Visayas severely affected lives and livelihood. Several heritage structures in the area were seriously damaged and some totally destroyed. In the light of the disasters, the Department of Tourism requested the World Bank with funding from the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery to do the detailed vulnerability assessment of selected cultural heritage structures in the three pilot areas such as Intramuros, Bohol and Cebu Provinces.

The World Bank mobilized ARS Progetti SPA an Italian consulting firm working in the field of architecture, engineering and cultural heritage preservation in collaboration with University of Santo Tomas Graduate School – Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Tropics and specialist engineers from the De La Salle University to undertake the vulnerability assessment.

The Department of Tourism envisioned this activity as an initial step towards the development of a systematic process to link the disaster resilience of cultural heritage structures and assets with the over-all development and investment strategy for the tourism sector.

The main objective was to prioritize and recommend specific structures for detailed multi-hazard vulnerability assessment, assess the vulnerability of selected cultural heritage structures, recommend options to mitigate the impacts of earthquakes and other natural disasters on the assessed structures and develop a Vulnerability Assessment Methodology for adoption in the Philippines Standards of Conservation.

The inception phase ran from July to September 2015. The inception workshop was held on September 3-4, 2015 at the National Museum while the assessment phase took on October 13-22, 2015.