Opening Statement of Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda during the Committee on Culture and the Arts Hearing

April 30, 2024

As we convene today to deliberate upon our extensive agenda comprising 32 bills, it is evident that our collective focus is firmly centered on the preservation and enhancement of Philippine culture and heritage.

The bills cover a wide array of initiatives, from establishing key cultural institutions to declaring national heritage zones. Each proposed measure reflects our steadfast commitment to safeguarding the diverse traditions, languages, arts, and practices that collectively shape our identity as Filipinos.

Our cultural heritage, forged through centuries of colonization and influenced by a multitude of indigenous traditions, neighboring cultures, and global interactions, exemplifies the resilience and creativity of the Filipino people. It is a legacy that we are duty-bound to protect and nurture for future generations.

While governmental bodies such as the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), and those represented here today play important roles in this endeavor, we recognize that the preservation of Filipino culture is a collaborative effort. It requires active engagement from communities, robust educational initiatives, and acknowledgment on the global platform.

In championing these measures, we affirm our commitment to ensuring that the vibrant heritage of the Philippines endures and thrives, serving as a source of identity and inspiration for all. Through these proposed laws, coupled with efficient and effective implementation, we endeavor to cultivate, protect, and uphold the invaluable treasures of Filipino arts and culture, ensuring that they remain accessible, adequately utilized, and valued for generations to come.

Today, the Committee would like to listen to your positions and insights on how we can further strengthen the measures under consideration.