News Release

Philippines Urdaneta Temple Continues to Rise Amid COVID-19

Construction of the temple reached 1,000,000 manhours without accidents or injuries

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippines Urdaneta Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continues to rise. One year after its groundbreaking, the construction team of the Philippines Urdaneta Temple celebrated 1,000,000 manhours without any accidents or lost-time injury.

With this significant progress, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will soon be able to enjoy the promised blessings of worshipping inside the House of the Lord.


In celebration of this significant milestone, Haskell Philippines, the general contractor of the temple, organized a simple event in appreciation for all 480 on-site workers on 8 August 2020.

Present in the event included President Richard Espinosa, Mission President of the Philippines Urdaneta Mission, with his wife Sister Patricia Espinosa; Arwin P. Manalo, Project Manager of the Church; Haskell employees headed by Colin Earl, Construction Manager; and Darwin Hombrebueno, Representative of the Department of Labor and Employment.

On behalf of Elder Taniela B. Wakolo, General Authority Seventy and President of the Philippines Area, President Espinosa extended his deep gratitude and love to everyone behind the incredible milestone.

“The Church builds temples all over the world and Urdaneta is blessed to have one in the community,” President Espinosa said. “Faithful members from neighboring areas of Ilocos Region, Cordillera, Cagayan Valley, and Central Luzon can visit often and receive sacred ordinances and make promises to become better people by following our Savior Jesus Christ.”

President Espinosa, whose primary role is to take care of the health and spiritual well-being of over one hundred young full-time missionaries serving in the Philippines Urdaneta Mission, further shared about the significance of temples.

“The temple… is a visible sign of the presence of the Lord with His people. The one place on earth where faithful members can elevate their vision from the things of the world, receive peace beyond all understanding and feel the closest to Heavenly Father. They feel more protected. And when they go out, they feel stronger to face [challenges in] life.”

Temple Construction Updates

Arwin Manalo expressed that he felt very blessed to be part of the project. “The Church is very particular with the safety of the workers. Since the commencement of the construction on 4 January 2019, there were no accidents,” he said. “We are either the only one or one of the few projects that achieved this one million milestone in Northern Luzon.”

Colin Earl further explained that the remarkable milestone is not just for Haskell as a company. “It’s a milestone for the employees who have been working on the project, for the Church and for the City of Urdaneta,” he said.

“It has a massive effect on everybody. Due to the pandemic, we have lost 15 weeks’ worth of work but they have a master plan to finish the project by April 2022. This will be a symbolic building for the Philippines in general.”

Meanwhile, Darwin Hombrebueno commended the Church and the general contractor for their compliance with the policies, occupational health and safety regulations, and directives of the government.

Jeffrey Acosta, Safety Manager for Haskell and responsible for ensuring that the project reached 1,000,000 manhours without LTI, shared that he had celebrated similar events in the past but the milestone for the Urdaneta Temple construction was different. For him, it was a fulfilling experience because they are building the House of The Lord.

Nathan Peters, Assistant Project Manager for Haskell, expressed his excitement for the temple as well. Knowing that thousands of Latter-day Saints in Urdaneta City and the surrounding areas have been waiting for quite some time for this temple, he understood that they are building the most important building on earth. He shared that he and his team had seen some tremendous growth and miracles as they worked on the construction. He knew that they are being watched over as they continue to build the sacred temple amid the pandemic.

The activity, held inside the construction site, included the giving of awards and recognitions as well as the distribution of hygiene kits and grocery items to all workers as appreciation for their dedication, commitment, and contribution in making the sacred site a safe place to work.

About Temples

Latter-day Saints consider temples as houses of God. Places of holiness and peace separate from the preoccupations of the world. Temples provide a place where Church members make formal promises and commitments to God. They are also the place where the highest sacraments of the faith occur — the marriage of couples and the “sealing” of families for eternity.

In the Philippines, there are two completed temples. The Philippines Manila Temple, which is in partial operation, and the Philippines Cebu Temple, which is temporarily closed due to the pandemic. The Philippines Alabang Temple is currently under construction since June 2020. Three more temples have been announced, which are the Philippines Cagayan de Oro Temple, Philippines Davao Temple, and the Philippines Bacolod Temple. All three are waiting for groundbreaking announcements.

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