BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance creating the Baguio city Council for Culture and the Arts.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Maria Mylen Victoria G. Yaranon states that with the rich culture, history, heritage, arts and tradition, the city endeavors active participation in the pursuit of cultural preservation as a strategy for maintaining Filipino identity, it adopts the principles spelled out in Republic Act 7356 which created the National Commission on Culture and the Arts and RA 10066 that provides for the protection and preservation of the national cultural heritage.
The ordinance mandates the allocation of an annual budget of some PP500,000 under the City Mayor’s Office for the operational needs of the council that will be established for the said purpose.
Among the duties and functions of the council include the preparation of an annual plan on culture, arts, and cultural heritage consonant with the Philippine Development Plan for culture and the arts, to be integrated in the city development plan and considered in the annual appropriation ordinances; formulate programs and recommendations to develop and sustain local cultural and artistic talents, cultural industries, traditional and contemporary arts and crafts and their processes; coordinate with the appropriate affiliated cultural agencies of the NCCA for the conservation and monitoring of national cultural properties found in the city; 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, conservation and promotion of the local cultural and historical heritage; declare and maintain local heritage zones; establish a local registry of cultural property; acknowledge the importance of traditional folk artists as singular conduit between skills of the past and the future; revitalize Baguio city’s artistic tradition thereby protecting a valuable fact of Philippine culture; provide mechanisms for identification and assistance for qualified traditional folk artists to transfer their skills to the community and create opportunities for popularizing their works locally.
Section 458 of RA 7160, or the Local Government Code, provides that the Sanggunian Panlungsod as the legislative body of the city shall enact ordinances, approved resolutions and appropriate funds for the general welfare of the city and its inhabitants pursuant to Section 16 of the same and in the proper exercise of the corporate powers of the city and shall approve ordinances that ensure the efficient and effective delivery of the basic services and facilities as previously provided.
In addition to the said services, and facilities as provided, the local legislative body shall establish a council whose purpose is the promotion of culture and the arts, coordinate with government agencies and non-governmental organizations subject to the availability of funds, appropriate funds for the support and development of the same.
The city’s legislative agenda highlights the establishment of local culture and arts council, the rationale which to establish offices for culture and the arts in the local government units with a mandate to protect and promote local culture, heritage and arts.
By Dexter A. See