This National Arts Month and Valentine’s season, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) OIC-Secretary Eduardo M. Ano calls on all provinces, cities, and municipalities to promote appreciation for their local culture and arts by creating or strengthening their local culture and arts councils.
“Culture and arts are the heart and soul of our nation. They preserve our history and act as conduit to our present and future. They showcase what real Filipino talent is,” says Ano.
“Each region in the country has their own unique culture and arts that promote local tourism as well as educate their people of their heritage,” he points out.
According to the DILG, a Local Culture and Arts Council is to be chaired by a local chief executive while its members are composed, among others, of representatives of local historical society, artists groups, business and academe sectors, indigenous peoples, as well as from a local office of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
The Council prepares an annual plan on culture, arts, and cultural heritage consonant with the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) for Culture and the Arts and further integrated in the local development plan and in the annual appropriation ordinances.
The Council also spearheads cultural events such as cultural festivals, competition, lectures, seminars and symposia.
Moreover, the Council declares and maintains a heritage zone in their local government unit (LGU) as mandated by Republic Act No. 10066 or the National Cultural Heritage Act. The law defines heritage zone as a historical, anthropological, archaeological, artistic geographical areas and settings that are culturally significant to the country.
Data on cultural climate
The DILG Chief discloses that the DILG Bureau of Local Government Development (BLGD) is coming up with a monitoring scheme to ensure LGU compliance on the creation of Local Culture and Arts Councils. The Bureau, in coordination with DILG Regional Offices, will also consolidate all submitted quarterly reports from LGUs.
“The DILG values the promotion and preservation of culture and arts as these have been added in the essential areas to be complied with by LGUs to get the annually conferred and much-coveted DILG Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG),” Ano emphasized.
The NCCA said that for LGUs which have not established yet their Local Culture and Arts Council or would like to strengthen their existing one, LGUs can request technical assistance from the NCCA to guide them on the suggested composition and functions based on the DILG Memorandum Circular 2017-133.
The MC states that the DILG and NCCA are legally mandated to undertake a systematic collection of statistical and other data which reflects the state of cultural conditions in the country, to serve as essential quantitative and qualitative basis for formulating cultural policies.
Meanwhile, the NCCA is leading the National Arts Month celebration with the theme “Ani ng Sining, Alab ng Sining” (Harvest of theArts, Flame of Art), emphasizing the bounty of artistic endeavors in the Philippines and the passion of Filipino artists and cultural workers. Schedule of various activities and contests nationwide are posted in their website.