‘To recover costs, company can develop 2-hectare church property’
CHURCH BUILDING. Lito and Fe Barino turn over a symbolic key to the International Eucharistic Congress Pavilion to Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma. The Barino couple’s Duros Development Corp. built the pavilion (below), which can reportedly accommodate 12,000 persons, without the Archdiocese having to shell out cash.
Fe Barino of Duros Development Corp. says that when she and her husband Lito heard the archbishop ask if they could build the IEC Pavilion, they could not say no “because we feel that it’s also a privilege for us to serve the Lord” Part of the 25,754-square-meter pavilion in Mabolo, Cebu City will be developed into a seminary after the January 2016 Eucharistic Congress Duros will be authorized to develop a 2-hectare property in the area, as part of a MOA with the Archdiocese
FOR its 25th anniversary, a construction company turned over to the Archdiocese of Cebu the main venue of an international religious conference in January 2016.
Lito and Fe Barino of Duros Development Corp.
handed a symbolic key to the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) Pavilion during a ceremony last night to Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma.
The archbishop said that Duros built the facility for more than P500 million and that it can accommodate about 12,000 people.
“We have been telling the people that this is built by Duros Development Corp. completely on their own. So, from the perspective of IEC, this is totally free,” Palma said.
Because the building is free, he said, the proceeds of a fundraising campaign can be devoted to other expenses like the speakers’ transportation, the liturgy, the congress proper and the seminary.
“If not for Duros, we would not be able to cope with the entire Eucharistic Congress,” Archbishop Palma said.
During the Holy Mass, Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal said he believes that the IEC Pavilion is “a miracle from God.”
“I could hardly believe that this would happen, that we have a pavilion as huge as this, as beautiful as this. God has given this and made this a reality. Lord, thank you for giving us this building,” Cardinal Vidal said. “I hope that it will remain forever.”
Archbishop Palma said he believes it would be easy to get bookings for the venue after the IEC in January, Cebu being an attractive destination for events.
“In fact, yesterday, there were a lot of reservations for big events like the Cursillo, and from groups like Couples for Christ and the CBCP (Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines), among others. We have bookings already for this year and next year, and we are happy to note that,” Palma said.
To help Duros recover the cost of building the pavilion, it will be given the right to develop a two-hectare property near the San Carlos Seminary in Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City.
“Of course, that will be subject to a MOA (memorandum of agreement). Like many others, for instance, they can develop properties of the church that are available for lease until they are able to recover their investments for this pavilion,” Palma said.
In a separate interview, Fe Barino confirmed that they spent more than P500 million for the construction of the structure.
After the IEC, the pavilion will be divided into two: a conference facility and a seminary. Its floor area is 25,754 square meters.
The pavilion can accommodate from 12,000 to 15,000 for the IEC proper. But after it is split once the IEC is over, the remaining conference space can still accommodate 8,000 to 10,000 people.
“The church or the IEC did not spend anything for this pavilion. The fundraising was for the IEC expenses,” Barino explained.
This means proceeds from the “Piso Para sa Misa ng Mundo” are solely for the IEC operations expenses.
Barino added that the building was 97 percent done, with finishing touches to be added soon, “but the church can already use the pavilion for any event.”
When asked why Duros agreed to build the pavilion for free, Barino said there was a call from the archbishop “and we just said yes because we feel that it’s also a privilege for us to serve the Lord.”
“We have received so many graces from God. We cannot say no. We want to help Cebu and the Philippines in hosting IEC,” Barino said.
She said that the archbishop’s call was also well-timed, because the company had just finished building Padgett Place condominiums in Lahug, Cebu City.
The condominium was completed in October 2014, and the archbishop called them the month after that.
“Normally, it would take one or two years before we can start a project but here, we were able to mobilize in less than two months,” Barino said.