Bicam approves bill further protecting cultural heritage via cultural mapping
MANILA, Philippines — The bicameral conference committee has approved a bill that seeks to strengthen the conservation and protection of the Philippines’ cultural heritage through cultural mapping.
The panel, composed of representatives from both chambers of Congress, convened on Friday, March 24, to come up with a version of the proposed measure that reconciles differences between Senate Bill No. 1841 and House Bill No. 5110.
Both bills seek to amend Republic Act No. 10066 or the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009.
Senate Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, among the main proponents of the proposed tweaks to the legislation, said the development is a “significant milestone in protecting and preserving cultural diversity in the face of growing globalization.”
“An important highlight of the discussion was the establishment of a Philippine Registry of Heritage, where all cultural properties and natural properties of cultural significance of the country shall be registered,” she said over social media.
Legarda underscored the importance of cultural heritage in affirming a nation’s identity, noting that history and traditions reflect people’s values and beliefs.
But beyond this, she said the rich cultural knowledge passed across generations is of much value since it proves “our uniqueness and what will define us as a human race.”
“So, we are working hard for the Cultural Mapping bill to be passed because we believe this is one of the best legacies that we could give the future generations of Filipinos. As I always say, culture is the narrative that binds us as a nation, and we owe it to our ancestors and heroes who built the Philippines as it is today,” the lawmaker further noted.
The push for cultural mapping, according to Legarda, will serve as a gift to future generations “so they may be able to appreciate the distinct and rich heritage that defines our identity as Filipinos.”
I welcome today the bicameral conference committee of the Senate and the House of Representatives’ approval of a measure that will further develop the preservation of the Philippines' cultural assets through cultural mapping.
— Loren Legarda (@loren_legarda) March 24, 2023
Legarda, who spearheaded the bicameral conference deliberations, was joined by Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III, Senator Nancy Binay, Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo, Pangasinan 4th District Rep. Christopher de Venecia, and Alliance of Concerned Teachers Party Rep. France Castro.
The Senate version of the bill secured a final nod on Monday, March 20, with 22 votes in the affirmative, while its counterpart in the House was approved in November last year.
Once the reconciled version of the proposed measure is ratified by Congress, it will only need the signature of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to become a law.
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