Legarda Urges LGUs to Establish Cultural Councils, Undertake Heritage Mapping

January 5, 2016

In a bid to further propagate and cultivate Filipino arts and culture, Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, has introduced special provisions in the 2016 national budget that encourages the establishment of councils for the promotion of culture and the arts in all cities and municipalities nationwide.

Legarda, who is also the chair of the Senate Committee on Cultural Communities and a staunch supporter of arts and culture, said she envisions the Philippines to become a leading destination for cultural tourism.

“We must continue to enrich our cultural activities and celebrations in different regions to remind us of the history and traditions of our towns and provinces and to unite people and communities as we work together in celebrating our rich cultural heritage,”Legarda stressed.

She said providing support to cultural organizations and local artists in the form of grants-in-aid, technical assistance, networking opportunities and capacity-building initiatives through these Councils are also vital in marketing the country as a destination for cultural tourism.

Under the special provision, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) shall ensure the establishment of a council whose purpose is the promotion of culture and the arts in all provinces, cities and municipalities, pursuant to R.A. No. 7160 or the Local Government Code.

“This is already under the Local Government Code and the special provision under the 2016 national budget is only a reiteration and we hope it will finally be given importance by our local government units (LGUs),” Legarda said.

The Senator also introduced a special provision in the national budget urging LGUs, in coordination with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), to undertake cultural mapping of their tangible and intangible heritage, which shall form part of the national registry to be maintained by the NCCA.

“The fundamental goal of heritage mapping is to inform, educate and help the nation realize its rich heritage, allowing for reflection of what it stands to lose as a result of its collective apathy and what it could gain if it strives to protect and promote it,” Legarda concluded.