5th International Conference on Cultural Statistics and Creative Economy

December 4, 2023

Message of
Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda

5th International Conference on Cultural Statistics and Creative Economy
December 4, 2023

It is my pleasure to join you today at the 5th International Conference on Cultural Statistics and Creative Economy, a vital platform convened by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) that unites scholars, researchers, academe, government officials, and private individuals in a collaborative effort to delve into the intricacies of cultural statistics.

Our culture is our identity. Our diverse ethnolinguistic groups, each with their traditions, dance, art, music, folklore, beliefs, and value systems, are the foundation of our unique cultural heritage.

For us to collectively work towards the inclusive growth and development of our nation, we must first foster national pride and appreciate the richness of our diverse culture. Our cultural considerations can no longer remain on the sidelines of policy-making. They must be integrated into education, economic planning, urban and rural development, and technological innovations, among others. Increasing cultural awareness, inculcating values for the common good, cultivating creativity, and fortifying culture-sensitive governance and development are essential.
We have recently enacted the Philippine Creative Industries Development Act, a legislation that underscores our commitment to fostering long-term growth, promotion, and development within our creative sectors. Our artists, artisans, designers, and cultural workers have long been working tirelessly to preserve our traditions, explore new frontiers, and express the talents of the Filipino people.

Despite these achievements, we are not blind to the challenges that still hinder the growth of our creative industries. High output costs, fragmented education systems, piracy issues, lack of data and statistics, underdeveloped branding and infrastructure, and wide skill gaps and mismatches—all present formidable obstacles. However, our purpose here is not to dwell on challenges alone. We gather to believe in the transformative power of creativity and the promotion of cultural heritage.
With the passage of the Cultural Mapping Law, which I authored and principally sponsored, we have taken a crucial step toward preserving our diverse culture. Every locality has its unique cultural heritage to showcase, and we have to identify and document these resources for appreciation, conservation, and development.

For years, I have been dedicated to making significant legislative strides to support our creative industries and cultural heritage. I have championed various initiatives to nurture arts, culture, and creativity in the Philippines, among these is the NCCA’s School of Living Traditions – a platform that provides opportunities for our indigenous communities to pass down their traditional arts and crafts to younger generations. This institution serves as a channel where living masters, cultural bearers, and experts share their profound knowledge of the intricate skills and techniques inherent in the traditional arts and crafts of their communities.

In my pursuit to further safeguard, promote, and cultivate our diverse culture and traditions, I introduced a bill to establish the Institute for Living Traditions or the Linangan ng Likhang Bayan Bill. This initiative aims to fortify our cultural heritage across various cultural communities. It seeks to champion equality in creative participation and productive endeavors, placing an emphasis on preserving intangible heritage rather than relegating it to a mere collection or repository of objects. Through this proposed measure, we aspire to create a vibrant and inclusive cultural landscape that sustains our heritage and empowers the artistic expression of our indigenous communities.
Our task is to bring our culture closer to our people, reawakening pride in our culture, history, and heritage while strengthening our nationalism. Our Filipino pride begins with an awareness of the rich and diverse heritage of our country. I encourage you to continue this important dialogue, share your insights, collaborate, and explore initiatives to protect, preserve, and rightfully pass on our cultural heritage to the next generations.
Thank you at isang luntiang Pilipinas sa ating lahat!