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Founding of the Escuela Taller de Filipinas Foundation, Inc.

July 10, 2013

Message of Senator Loren Legarda
Founding of the Escuela Taller de Filipinas Foundation, Inc.
10 July 2013, 9:00 a.m.
Escuela Taller, Intramuros Manila

I wish to thank the Spanish Embassy, led by His Excellency Ambassador Jorge Domecq, for inviting me to give a message for this wonderful cultural partnership of two nations.

The Philippines is a nation endowed with a rich cultural history. The age-old structures in various parts of the country—baroque churches, heritage houses, colonial buildings and bridges—speak much of the story of our nation. But the preservation of this heritage is a continuing challenge especially in this era of rapid technological advancements.

On the other hand, unemployment still remains as one of the challenges that the State needs to address. Unemployment in the country rose to 7.5% in April amid a 7.8% growth in the economy during the first quarter of 2013.

The Escuela Taller gives us hope in addressing these two challenges as it provides a skills development program related to the preservation and restoration of our tangible cultural heritage—an initiative I am fully supportive of. We are grateful to the Spanish Embassy for bringing the Escuela Taller to the Philippines and helping preserve our cultural heritage while contributing to uplifting the economic condition of the Filipino people.

This will also contribute to a cultural revolution that we wish to advance through the establishment of folk art museums in provinces in the country. These folk art museums will be houses of heritage that will feature unique products of the provinces and their cultural music and performing arts.

Against a backdrop of a fast-changing globalized world, it is our aim to promote and sustain our traditional practices in craftsmanship and revitalize the Filipinos’ love for our culture and heritage.

I congratulate the Spanish Embassy and its Agency for International Development Cooperation, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the Intramuros Administration, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority for the Escuela Taller program.

As this project creates better opportunities for out of school youth and unemployed Filipinos, I hope that it will also forge improved bilateral relations between the Philippines and Spain.

Thank you and good morning.