Antique Lone District Rep. Loren Legarda has called on the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) to ensure the conservation and preservation of the Antique Rice Terraces of the Iraynon-Bukidnon as country’s important cultural heritage.

Deputy Speaker and Antique Rep. Loren Legarda (Congresswoman Loren Legarda Official Facebook Page / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Legarda, also a House deputy speaker, said the government should ensure that the Antique Rice Terraces, which is located in the central mountain areas in her home province, is protected and preserved “for the sake of current and future generations.”

“Antique Rice Terraces, its flora and fauna, and the cultural heritage therein can be considered as one of the national cultural treasures of the country that deserves conservation and protection of the State,” she said.

The House leader filed House Resolution No. 1435 directing the NCCA and other relevant government agencies to ensure the conservation and preservation of the terraces.

She noted that Iraynon-Bukidnon, one of the indigenous peoples’ groups in the province and which has a rich cultural heritage, remains the steward of the Antique Rice Terraces.

“They are able to keep and practice their unique agricultural practices, which they continue to pass on to the younger generation of their community,” she said.

Legarda said that under Republic Act No. 10066, the National Heritage Act of 2009, the NCCA and its attached cultural agencies are mandated to “protect, preserve, conserve, and promote the nation’s cultural heritage, its property and histories, and the ethnicity of local communities.”

“While the public attention to Antique Rice Terraces will entail progress and development in the field of tourism and economy in the area, it may however endanger its environmental and cultural state,” the former senator said.

“The Antique Rice Terraces, together with the ethnicity of Iraynon-Bukidnon, are part of our cultural heritage that deserve our recognition, protection, preservation, and conservation through the appropriate government agencies,” she said.

Source: Manila Bulletin (