Implementation of the international covenant on economic, social and cultural rights

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Article 15

Question 1. Measures adopted to realize the right of everyone to take part in cultural life

  1. Republic Act No. 7356 provided for the creation for the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). The Commission acts as the overall policy-making and coordinating body that systematizes national efforts towards the development, preservation and promotion of culture and the arts.

  1. The Commission is composed of 12 representatives from the government sector and 3 representatives from the private sector. The three representatives from the private sector are elected heads of the three subcomssions, viz., Subcommission on Cultural Heritage, the Subcommission on the Arts, and the Subcommission on Cultural Dissemination.

  1. It bears mentioning that in addition to the three subcomissions mentioned above, the Commission has the Subcommission on Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts.67

  1. The NCCA supervises six (6) attached cultural agencies namely, the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the National Museum, the National Historical Institute, the National Library, the National Archives, and the Commission on the Filipino Languages.

  1. The Cultural Center of the Philippines is the national center for the performing arts. It is mandated to promote excellence in the arts through the initiation and implementation of activities that aim to improve and elevate standards among cultural workers, artists and audiences and to recognize the multiplicity and differences of aesthetic experiences and standards encompassing the arts from grassroots to those formulated by academy-trained artists. It houses several venues for the performing arts as well as areas for both permanent and changing exhibits. It serves as home for the country's premier performing arts groups such as the Ballet Philippines, the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, Tanghalang Pilipino and others.

  1. The National Museum is tasked with the preservation, conservation and protection of movable and immovable cultural properties and for the enjoyment of present and future generations. As an educational institution, it disseminates scientific and technical knowledge in more understandable and practical forms through lectures, exhibitions, interviews and publications for students and the general public. As a scientific organization, it conducts basic research programs combining integrated laboratory and field work in anthropology, archaeology, botany and zoology. It maintains reference collections on these disciplines to promote scientific studies in the Philippines. As a cultural center, the National Museum has taken the lead in the study and preservation of the nation's rich artistic, historic, and cultural heritage.

  1. The National Library serves as the country's premier repository of printed and recorded materials which reflect the intellectual, literary and cultural heritage of the Philippines as well as the knowledge and wisdom of peoples elsewhere in the world. While acquiring and maintaining a comprehensive national collection of library resources, the Library promotes access to these research and information materials and makes them available for the use of the present and future generations of Filipinos.

  1. The National Historical Institute (NHI) was created in 1972 to integrate the diverse functions of various historical agencies. NHI is responsible for the conservation and preservation of the country's historical legacies. Its major thrusts encompass an ambitious cultural program on historical studies, curatorial works, architectural conservation, Philippine heraldry, historical information dissemination activities, restoration and preservation of relics and memorabilia of heroes and other renowned Filipinos. The NHI continues to undertake the commemoration of significant events and personages in Philippine history and safeguard the blazoning of the national government and its political divisions and instrumentalities.

  1. The Records Management and Archives Office is the official repository of the nation's permanent records and records of archival and historical value. It is mandated to plan, develop and coordinate government-wide programs, policies, rules and regulations governing the use, storage and disposition of current and non-current records as well as to render assistance to government agencies for the retrieval of vital documents.

  1. The Commission on the Filipino Language is tasked to undertake, coordinate and promote researches for the development, propagation and preservation of Filipino and other Philippine languages.

  1. Since 2002, initiatives of the culture sector have been focused on the implementation of policies and strategies contained in the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan for Culture and Arts (MTPDP-CA) 2002-2005. There are seven program thrusts identified in the Plan that addresses certain needs in the sector: (a) Culture and Education; (b) Culture and Development; (c) Support for Artistic Excellence; (d) Promotion of Culture and the Arts; (e) Conservation of Cultural Heritage; and (f) Culture and Diplomacy. Towards the end of 2003, the NCCA established the seventh program, i.e., Culture and Peace. These programs were created as the framework for direction and policy development from where project ideas can be developed.

  1. The Government also promotes recognition for outstanding Filipino artists through such awards such as the Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan and the National Artists’ Award.

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