The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on third and final reading a proposed ordinance creating the Baguio City Council for Culture and the Arts.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Maria Mylen Victoria G. Yaranon stated that with the rich culture, history, heritage, arts and tradition of the city and its people, the city government will endeavor active participation in the pursuit of cultural preservation as a strategy for maintaining Filipino identity, thus, it adopts the principles spelled out in Republic Act 7356 which created the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
The Baguio City Council for Culture and the Arts shall be chaired by the City Mayor while the City Administrator will serve as the Vice Chairperson. The members of the council shall be the chairperson of the City Council Committee on Tourism, Special Events, Parks and Playgrounds; Chairperson of the City Council Committee on Education, Culture and Historical Research, Chairperson of the City Council Committee on Youth Welfare and Sports Development, Chairperson of the City Council Committee on Indigenous Peoples Affairs, president of the Liga ng mga Barangay, City Planning and Development Officer, City Public Information Officer, City Budget Officer, City Tourism Officer, representative from the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Philippine Information Agency, City Tourism Council, Baguio Heritage Foundation, museums in the city, Baguio artists groups, Baguio Chamber of Commerce and Industry, private and public secondary schools, academe representatives from tertiary schools offering courses on history, culture and arts, indigenous peoples and cultural communities in the city, NCCA, accredited volunteer artists, historians, anthropologists, among others.
The ordinance mandates the city government to appropriate a budget of not less than P500,000 annually in the annual budget of the city for the operational needs of the council in the initial year of operation of the council. Funding needs shall be drawn from the budget of the city Mayor’s office should supplemental budget cannot be provided for the said purpose.
DILG Memorandum circular No. 2017-133 enjoined all provinces, cities and municipalities for the establishment of a local culture and the arts council, implement related projects or strengthen existing ones thereafter.
Section 33 of RA 10066, otherwise known as the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009, encourages local government units to incorporate programs and budget for the conservation and preservation of cultural property in their environmental, educational and cultural activities.
The city’s legislative agenda highlights the establishment of local culture and arts council which is aimed at establishing offices for culture and the arts in the local government units with a mandate to protect and promote local culture, heritage and arts.
The powers and functions of the council is to prepare an annual plan on culture, arts and cultural heritage; formulate programs and recommendations to develop and sustain local culture and artistic talents; coordinate with the appropriate affiliated cultural agencies of the NCCA; conduct cultural events such as cultural festivals, competitions, lectures, seminars and symposia; identify such other programs and activities for the promotion of local cultural heritage and arts; ensure the protection, preservation, and promotion of the local culture and heritage among others.