Legarda Wants NCCA and TESDA to Institutionalize Indigenous Skills as Tech-Voc Course

September 18, 2015

During the recent Senate hearing for the budget of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, emphasized the need to institutionalize Schools of Living Traditions (SLTs) which preserves the nation’s cultural heritage by ensuring its transmission to the next generations.


Legarda said that the NCCA should work with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to create culture-based vocational courses as part of efforts to support indigenous peoples (IPs) and promote Philippine culture.


“The NCCA and TESDA should formulate a program wherein indigenous skills can be offered as courses through TESDA’s Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET),” she said.


Legarda, who also chairs the Senate Committee on Cultural Communities, said that this kind of program is an effort to preserve our cultural heritage and will provide our IPs better employment and livelihood opportunities.


“Many of the crafts of our IPs are sought after in other countries. This economic opportunity is what we must present to our IPs. We need not take our IPs out of their communities, which they strive to preserve as part of their heritage. We can provide the needed livelihood support to them by promoting their culture through traditional skills training program,” she said.


“We have to develop interest in traditional skills like hand weaving, embroidery, tabungaw-making, basket-weaving, pottery, and likewise present the economic opportunities that can be derived from acquiring or improving on such skills,” she stressed.


Aside from SLTs, Legarda also asked the NCCA on many issues including the proper restoration of the Metropolitan Theater, which it recently acquired from the Government Service Insurance System.


According to NCCA Chairman Felipe de Leon Jr., the revised engineering study of the MET Theater will be finished by the end of this year while the restoration of the iconic building will start early next year.