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Duterte reconstitutes panel leading PH’s quincentennial celebration

/ 01:42 PM February 06, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Less than a year before the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Philippines’ part in the first circumnavigation of the world, the victory of Lapulapu in the Battle of Mactan, and other related events, President Rodrigo Duterte reconstituted the National Quincentennial Committee (NQC) to lead the preparations for the 2021 Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines (QCP).

Duterte created the NQC in 2018 to prepare for the commemoration of the historical milestones, which will be turning 500 years old next year.

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In his Executive Order 103 signed last Jan. 28, the President strengthened the committee by adding more member-agencies. Unde the EO, the Executive Secretary will serve as NQC chair while the National Historical Commission of the Philippines head will be the committee’s vice-chairperson and executive director.

Members of the NQC include representatives from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of National Defense (DND), Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Presidential Adviser for the Visayas.

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The committee will be tasked to undertake overall study, conceptualization, and implementation of relevant programs and projects for the 2021 QCP; act as the principal coordinator for all activities related; serve as clearinghouse for the preparation and dissemination of information on the programs, activities, and projects; constitute sub-committees or working groups to undertake the implementation of programs, activities, and projects; undertake fundraising activities; call on government agencies and private entities to assist in the preparations; and carry out other functions as may be directed by the President.

The NQC is mandated to be “Filipino-centric” in observing activities for the historical event and will highlight Lapulapu, ruler of Mactan Island in Cebu, who resisted the Spaniards.

Ferdinand Magellan’s expedition, which led him in the Philippines in 1521, is considered the first circumnavigation of the world and signaled the introduction of Christianity in the country.

Magellan, who worked under the employ of the Spanish crown, was killed by forces of Lapulapu at the Battle of Mactan to oppose the Spanish colonization initiated by the Portuguese explorer.

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Lapu-Lapu’s victory in the Battle of Mactan served as among the inspirations for Filipino heroes and martyrs during the 1896 Philippine Revolution.

Under his presidency, Duterte has sought to promote the Mactan ruler, noting how Filipinos are familiar with heroes from Luzon but not from the Visayas.

He even declared April 27 as Lapulapu Day and created a set of awards named after the hero, the “Order of Lapulapu”, which was given to individuals for recognition of their “invaluable services in relation to a campaign or advocacy of the President.”

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TAGS: Christianity, Culture, Ferdinand Magellan, Heroes, History, lapulapu, Malacañang, martyrs, Oredr of Lapulapu, Rodrigo Duterrte
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