Creation of Baguio Council for Culture, Arts pushed

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BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance creating the Baguio City Council for Culture and Arts and appropriating funds for its operation.

The ordinance authored by Councilors Leandro B. Yangot, Jr., Peter C. Fianza, Elmer Datuin, Maria Mylen Victoria G. Yaranon and Benny Bomogao stated Baguio City, with its unique culture, history and tradition endeavors active participation in the development and preservation of Filipino identity and to be of help, it is mandated to adopt the pertinent principles spelled out in Republic Act (RA) 7356 entitled “An Act Creating the National Commission of Culture and the Arts, Establishing National Endowment Funds for Culture and the Arts, and for other purposes.”

The ordinance added there will be a created the Baguio City Council for Culture and the Arts (BCCCA) to ensure the formulation of defined policies for the development of culture and the arts in the city and it shall be under the office of the local chief executive.

The BCCCA shall be composed of the City Mayor as the chairperson, the City Administrator as vice chairperson and action officer and will be composed of the City Council chair of the committees on Tourism, Education, Indigenous Peoples Affairs, and the member representing the Liga ng mga Barangay; representatives from the City Budget Office, City Planning and Development Office, City Building and Architecture Office, City Tourism Council; representatives of the Cordillera offices of the DOT, DENR, DPWH and NCIP;  academe representatives from each tertiary school with course offerings on history, culture and the arts; representatives from the private and public secondary schools; curators or representatives from museums in the city; a representative from each accredited non-government organization in the city; a representative from each admitted professional groups or organizations, accredited volunteer artists, historians, anthropologists.

Further, the proponents claimed additional members to the council may be accommodated as shall be directed in the internal rules that the council may later adopt after it is constituted which shall also provide for the accreditation of NGOs, professional groups, and volunteers intended by the ordinance to be provided representation.

The council shall be mandated to serve as the cultural and heritage office of the city and assists the city to ensure the performance or execution of mandated programs, projects or activities under the law; to maintain an inventory of cultural property under its jurisdiction, furnish and commission a copy of the same, continuously coordinate in making entries and in monitoring the various cultural properties; to document traditional and contemporary arts and crafts, including their processes and makers, and sustain the sources of their raw materials and to recommend measures to be adopted by the city to protect and safeguard the integrity of any discovered cultural property.

The ordinance stipulated that a budget of not less than P500,000 shall be allocated annually in the city’s budget under the City Mayor’s Office for the operational needs of the council. In the initial year of operation of the council, funding needs shall be drawn from whatever savings from the budget of the said office.

By Dexter A. See

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