BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) is supportive of the plan of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) to require local governments in the region to create their local culture and the arts councils to allow concerned officials to access the needed financial and technical assistance from the said Commission.
RDC-CAR Secretary and Assistant Regional Director of the Cordillera office of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA-CAR) Jedidia Aquino explained there is merit to the request of the NCCA for all local governments to create their own local culture and arts councils to help advance efforts of concerned government agencies and local governments for the preservation and protection of the rich culture and traditions of Cordillerans.
“We will be initiating consultations with local officials for us to help the NCCA disseminate to them the importance and the benefits that they will derive from the creation of their local culture and arts councils. We have to be aggressive on this matter because our region is considered to be rich in culture, arts and heritage which must be passed on to the present and future generations,” Aquino stressed.
The NEDA-CAR official believes that amidst the diverse culture of the people from the different parts of the region, they are one in the clamor for autonomy and self-governance for them to guarantee the sustainable preservation and protection of their rich culture and history, thus the importance of creating the appropriate bodies that will maintain the sanctity of the practices of the indigenous peoples and indigenous cultural communities regionwide.
Earlier, NCCA officials had been going around the country empowering local officials to create their local culture and arts councils because it is one of the criteria in judging compliance of local governments to the Seal of Good Local Governance in coordination with the Department of the Interior and Local government (DILG).
According to her, local officials can access financial and technical assistance from the NCCA for their programs and projects relative to the preservation and protection of their culture and traditions that are passed on by their local culture and arts councils.
She explained the RDC-CAR will take the cudgels of empowering local governments around the region to fast-track the creation of their local culture and arts councils because there is a good future for the LGUs that will be actively involved in programs and projects to preserve and protect the rich culture and traditions of Cordillerans.
Aquino revealed that local governments in Benguet and Ifugao are active in relation to the said mandate of the NCCA, thus the need for local officials in other parts of the region to be aggressive in efforts to preserve and protect culture and history so that the same will be passed on to the present and future generations.
She called on incumbent local officials to not wait for necessary issuances to be handed down by concerned government agencies but instead be proactive in the creation of the said local councils for their greater advantage in the future.
By Dexter A. See