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House Moves to Revise the Composition of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts – ESCUDERO

The House of Representatives has passed on second reading House Bill 735 which seeks to include a national artist in the membership of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

The bill authored by Rep. Evelina Escudero (1st District, Sorsogon) seeks to ensure the development of policies, plans and programs of the NCCA, particularly its Sub-Commission on the Arts, is imbued with the intellect, creativity and skill of a national artist who has been distinguished and duly recognized in the field of Arts.

Likewise, the bill seeks to give further recognition to the distinct contribution and important role of a national artist in preserving and promoting the Filipino culture and arts.

“As a member of the NCCA, a person conferred with the rank and title of National Artist will be able to provide the necessary mindset in promoting Philippine arts and culture,” said Escudero.

A national artist is a Filipino citizen who has been given the rank and the title of “National Artist,” in recognition of his or her significant contributions to the development of the country’s Arts and Letters.

The bill seeks to amend Section 9 of Republic Act No. 7356 or the “Law Creating the National Commission for Culture and the Arts,” by including as member of the NCAA a national artist who shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines.

The appointment by the President shall be based on the recommendation of the other members of the Order of National Artists, which is composed of individuals who have been conferred the “National Artist” award.

Currently, the NCCA is composed of 15 members as stipulated under RA 7356. The membership or inclusion of a national artist is not mandated under the present law.
The bill also provides that the national artist shall head the Sub-Commission on the Arts, one of the three sub-commissions of the NCCA. The two others are the Sub-Commission on Cultural Heritage and the Sub-Commission on Cultural Dissemination.

The Sub-Commission on the Arts covers the Committee on Architecture and Allied Arts, Literary Arts, Visual Arts, Dramatic Arts, Broadcast Arts, Musical Arts, Dance and Film. It is responsible for the recognition of artistic achievements through services, grants, and services to artists and cultural groups which contribute significantly to the cultural legacy of the Filipinos.

Under RA 7356, the NCCA is mandated to formulate and implement policies for the development of Filipino national culture and arts, coordinate cultural policies and programs, and encourage artistic creation within a climate of artistic freedom.

The other authors of HB 735 are Reps. Cheryl Deloso-Montalla (2nd District, Zambales), Cecilia Leonila Chavez (Party-list, BUTIL), Juliet Marie Ferrer (4th District, Negros Occidental), Mark Go (Lone District, Baguio City), Joey Salceda (2nd District, Albay), Cristal Bagatsing (5th District, Manila), Alexandria Gonzales (Lone District, Mandaluyong), Deogracias Ramos (2nd District, Sorsogon), Maria Lourdes Aggabao (4thDistrict, Isabela), Edgar Mary Sarmiento (1st District, Samar), Celso Lobregat (1st District, Zamboanga City), Rodante Marcoleta (Party-list, SAGIP), Sandra Eriguel (2nd District, La Union), and Sol Aragones (3rd District, Laguna).

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