The Regional Development Council XI endorsed the creation of the Department of Culture during its 3rd quarter meeting on August 23, 2019 at the NEDA-RDC XI Center, Davao City.
Ms. Adelina Suemith of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts presented to the RDC XI the salient features of the proposal. She informed that the creation of the Department of Culture is a major legislative agenda under Promoting Philippine Culture and Values Chapter of the Philippine Development Plan, 2017-2022 and considered in the President’s Legislative Agenda. She said that the Department is expected to be the lead government agency that shall coordinate all efforts and activities of promoting “national identity and culture” and to mainstream culture in national development policies.
Ms. Suemith conveyed that the said Department shall be mandated to protect and promote the diversity of cultural and artistic expressions and foster the development of creative industries, conserve, safeguard and develop the Nation’s historical and cultural heritage and ensure the widest dissemination of artistic and cultural products among the greatest number across the country and overseas. The proposed Department shall have the following bureaus: Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts Development, Cultural Properties Protection and Regulation, Cultural Properties Preservation, Artistic Resources Development, Philippine Languages, Cultural Research, Education and Dissemination, and Cultural and Creative Industries. The Department shall also establish the National Institutes of Language and Translation, Living Traditions, Cultural Heritage Conservation, and Cultural and Creative Industries. Other features of the proposal include the establishment of Regional Offices to facilitate effective and efficient delivery of various cultural products and services to stakeholders in the regions, creation of a National Culture and Arts Advisory Council and Regional Culture and Arts Committees to assist the Department in the implementation of culture and arts initiatives, and Management of Sentro Rizals for the continuous promotion of Philippine culture, and planning and implementation of cultural programs for Filipino communities.
Ms. Suemith informed that several versions of house bills on the creation of the Department of Culture were filed in both Houses of Congress for which a harmonized bill will soon be crafted.
The Regional Development Council XI finds it essential to have a national body that shall develop, harmonize, manage and implement programs and projects, policies, regulations and strategic directions for the conservation, safeguarding, dissemination and promotion of Philippine culture and arts. Relative to this, the Council endorsed the creation of the Department of Culture, with the recommendation for NCCA to submit a harmonized bill on the subject.