IMG-88ad930a3f28bb12466e1c7dc3b24ff6-V (1).jpgCamarines Sur 2nd district Rep. LRay Villafuerte (PPAB)







Camarines Sur 2nd district Rep. LRay Villafuerte has underscored the importance of the recently-signed Republic Act (RA) No.11961, also known as ‘An Act Strengthening the Conservation and Protection of Philippine Cultural Heritage Through Cultural Mapping and Enhanced Cultural Heritage Education Program”. 

Villafuerte, a co-author of the new law, said Filipinos must find a way to keep their identity amid the rapidly-changing times. 

“With advances in transportation and communication technology, interaction and integration of cultures and economies become inevitable. Filipinos are increasingly open to assimilating what the rest of the world has to offer. In doing so, however, it is important to preserve our unique Filipino identity,” he said. 

“Improving our cultural mapping is important for our nation to see clearly our rich heritage and what we stand to lose. The imprints of our identity as Filipinos are numerous from our languages and traditions to food, craft and fashion,” said Villafuerte, president of the National Unity Party (NUP). 

The statute amends RA No.10066, otherwise known as the “National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009", which provided for the identification and documentation of all heritage resources all over the country.   

The Bicolano said that under RA No.11961, every local government unit (LGU) in the country is required to do a mapping or inventory of locally- and nationally-declared cultural assets in its area of jurisdiction "for the preservation and proper use of these movable and immovable assets along with other forms of tangible and intangible heritage". 

LGUs are tasked under the amendatory law, he said, to periodically monitor and then update the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) on the status of these invaluable cultural assets by way of  their respective inventories of tangible or intangible movable and immovable heritage, natural heritage, cultural institutions, significant personalities and creative industries within their areas of jurisdiction.  

The new law also directs the LGUs to submit their own Local Cultural Inventories (LCI), which will be included in the criteria to qualify for the Seal of Local Good Governance. 

According to the NCCA, only 980 of the 1,715 LGUs have complied with the submission of LCIs, as of December 2022, while the number of properties registered with the Philippine Registry of Cultural Property (PRECUP) totaled 10,385. 

“This amendatory bill supports Article XIV of the 1987 Constitution that seeks to preserve, protect, conserve, promote and enrich the nation's historical and cultural heritage, resources, property, as well as artistic creations,” Villafuerte said. 

“As we adapt to globalization and modernity, this new law aims to strengthen RA No.10066. Among others, it seeks to improve our framework and cultural mapping to encompass tangible and intangible and natural and built heritage,” he said. 

Villafuerte said that LGUs, in their mapping tasks, are directed to mobilize and establish partnerships with non-government organizations (NGOs), cultural groups, academic and private institutions in pursuit of such efforts, provided that these  institutions adhere to the guidelines set by the NCCA.  

Moreover, this law directs the cultural agencies concerned and all LGUs to continuously coordinate in making entries and in monitoring and updating the various cultural properties in their respective  cultural property inventories, he said.

Source: Manila Bulletin (