MANILA — The Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan on Thursday lauded the approval on second reading by the House of Representatives a bill declaring the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag a pilgrimage site and tourist destination.
“It is a recognition of the firm faith in God and deep love for the Virgin among the people of Pangasinan. We are very grateful to (Congressman Christopher) de Venecia,” Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said in a statement.
De Venecia is the principal author of House Bill 7882 which mandates the Department of Tourism and other concerned agencies to prioritize the development of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag, subject to rules and regulations governing the development of pilgrimage sites and tourist destinations.
At the same time, the Catholic prelate is hoping that the measure will inspire the local government unit (LGU) to upgrade facilities around the basilica.
“We hope it animates the LGU to improve the infrastructure around the Basilica,” he said.
“The zoning of businesses, traffic management and security concerns are top in the list that we hope the LGU will attend to,” Villegas added.
Officially declared a basilica in February 2015, the church is home to the ivory image of the Blessed Virgin Mary which is known for narratives of miracles experienced by Catholic devotees. (PNA)