10 senators push for creation of Dep’t of Culture
Ten senators are pushing for the passage of a bill that will reorganize the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) into an independent Department of Culture (DOC) to promote and develop the country’s cultural traditions.
Authored and sponsored by Senator Francis Escudero, chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture, Senate Bill No. 1528, or the proposed “Department of Culture Act,” will create and appropriate funds for a the DOC “in recognition of the vital role of Filipino culture in nation building.”
Aside from Escudero, the bill is also authored by Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri and Senators Loren Legarda, Nancy Binay, Bam Aquino IV, JV Ejercito, Joel Villanueva, Sherwin Gatchalian, Risa Hontiveros, and Sonny Angara.
“The passage of this bill will further nurture and preserve our Filipino heritage by enhancing the agency’s mandate and giving it more authority in implementing the programs that will promote the importance of the Philippine arts and culture,” Escudero said in a statement on Wednesday.
Under the bill, which is now now on third and final reading, the proposed department and its attached agencies will be responsible for the “protection, preservation, regulation, development, management, dissemination and promotion of the cultural, historical and artistic heritage and resources, tangible and intangible, of the Philippines and the Filipino people.”
Twelve agencies will be attached to the DOC, namely: Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), National Museum of the Philippines (NMP), National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), National Library of the Philippines (NLP), National Archives of the Philippines (NAP), Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino (KWF), Intramuros Administration (lA), National Parks Development Committee (NPDC), Nayong Filipino Foundation (NPF), Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), National Book Development Board (NBDB) and the Design Center of the Philippines.
Escudero said the bill also calls for policy reforms, such as the establishment of ‘Rizal Centers’ or cultural hubs that will provide Filipinos access to cultural resources within the country and abroad “for the benefit of the global diaspora of Philippine citizens.”
He also said the proposed department will be headed by a Secretary, who will be joined by at least three undersecretaries and five assistant secretaries. /muf
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