May 24, 2015 
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The Medium Term Philippine Development Plan for Culture and the Arts 2004 -2010 (MTPDPCA 2004- 2010)

Chapter II
Assesment of the Culture and Arts Sub-Section

Defining the Trends of Cultural and Artistic Development

The period 1992 to 2000 saw significant developments in The Sub-sector along the four major areas of concern namely cultural heritage, cultural communities, the arts and cultural education and dissemination. The assessment that follows reflects substantial achievements of The Sub-sector. From 1992 to 2000, cultural heritage was significantly marked by a general increase in the number of archives, public libraries, world heritage sites, as well as researches relevant to cultural heritage.

The assessment of cultural communities positively showed not only an increase in the number of Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan awardees, but also significant researches conducted for the benefit of cultural communities, plus an increase in the number of schools of living traditions. Likewise, the arts registered a significant increase in the number of programs that were made accessible to the public; the number of National Artists, Thirteen Artists, and Gawad Alternatibong Pelikula awardees; and the number of local films reviewed by the MTRCB. The creation of culture and arts websites, the increase in the number of publications and radio-TV cultural programs produced, and the establishment of language laboratories on active Filipino language aimed at promoting the national language indicated a significant improvement in performance for cultural dissemination. The preceding measures are indicative of the development within The Sub-sector in the past nine years.

The achievements of The Sub-sector can be attributed primarily to the effective implementation of the Philippine Development Plan for Culture and the Arts (PDPCA) 1992-2000 and the significant contributions of the civil society.

Cultural Items 1992 1996 1998
1. Archives 57 0 128
2. Libraries 545 635 786
3. Museum visitors (National Museum and Branch Museums) 314,314 456,322 645,597
4. Library Users (TNL and Public Libraries) 4,378,688 4,595,980 8,404,205
5. Approved Copyright Applications 7,518 8,181 7,246
6. Philippine National Bibliography 2,351 1,620 1,390
7. Researches on culture and the arts (covering ten classes of human knowledge) 72,407 183,749 192,367
8. World Heritage Sites 0 0 0

The Philippine Development Plan for Culture and the Arts (PDPCA) 1992-2000 On March 20, 1992, the NEDA Social Development Committee Technical Board approved the PDPCA 1992-2000, which provided direction for government efforts in developing the culture and arts sector. With the vision of evolving Filipino culture and unifying the Filipino people, the PDPCA 1992-2000 focused on three major thrusts: institutional building (1992 to 1993); infrastructure development (1994 to 1996); and program expansion (1997 to 2000).
Institutional Building

Pursuant to the thrust of the Institutional Building Phase of the PDPCA 1992-2000, the following significant legislative and executive issuances were passed:

Republic Act No. 7356 creating the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and establishing the National Endowment Fund for Culture and the Arts (NEFCA) was passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on February 5, 1992. With its creation, the NCCA acted as the lead government agency in the formulation and implementation of policies for culture and the arts in coordination with the NM, RMAO, NHI, TNL and the CCP. The NCCA was also tasked to administer the NEFCA to support cultural development programs, projects, and activities all over the country; Republic Act No. 7104 created the CFL which is tasked to undertake, coordinate and promote researches for the development, propagation, and preservation of Filipino and other Philippine languages; Republic Act No. 7743 enabled the establishment of Congressional, District, City and Municipal Libraries and Barangay Center throughout the country; Executive Order No. 18 created the National Centennial Commission (NCC) in 1993, to initiate and coordinate all activities towards the celebration of the Centennial of Philippine Independence.

These and many other legislative and executive issuances facilitated the implementation of many cultural programs and activities during the period 1992 to 2000.

The second phase of the plan prioritized the acquisition, restoration, and construction of buildings intended to house various cultural agencies.

The restoration of the 17th century La Intendencia building for the use of the RMAO was started in 1993. As of 1998, the restoration was only about 37% complete due to inadequate funding.

The NCCA building at 633 Gen. Luna St., Intramuros, Manila was acquired in 1994, and has been the venue for meetings and other cultural activities of the NCCA national committees, Board of Commissioners, and other culture and arts groups.

Construction of the NHI building was undertaken by the Department of Public Works and Highways in 1994. The main building was completed in 1995 and was inaugurated in the same year.

There were many other infrastructure projects under the plan: TNL Annex to house rare documents, books and presidential papers; the buildings for the CFL and Film Academy of the Philippines; and the construction of at least fourteen Sentrong Bayan, venues for culture and arts activities in the regions, which were to be implemented in collaboration with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

However, financial limitations did not allow the complete implementation of the infrastructure development phase. Financial support for the establishment of these infrastructures must be provided in the next planning period.

Program Expansion

While the organizational and infrastructure developments were going on, various programs were conceptualized to enhance the developmental efforts and the promotion of Philippine culture and the arts. At the outset, the NCCA had two major thrusts: developing the structure of organization and governance of the Commission and the promotion of artistic excellence. In 1992, two major programs were established: Policy formulation and coordination among government and non-government agencies relative to culture and arts activities; and Awards to National Artists.

With the passing of time, the concerns and needs of the sector expanded. It was in 1999 that the seven national programs were conceptualized and implemented to include: 1) Culture and Development, aimed at strengthening the social infrastructure and building capability; 2) Culture and Education, to enrich the culture and arts programs within the educational system; 3) Support for Artistic Excellence, to encourage artistic creation and excellence and develop young artists; 4) Promotion of Culture and the Arts, to promote culture and arts utilizing multi-media; 5) Conservation of Cultural Heritage, to conserve tangible and intangible cultural heritage; 6) Cultural Agency Cooperation, to strengthen collaboration and partnership among cultural agencies; and 7) Culture and Diplomacy, to utilize culture in enhancing international ties.

Cinema Values Reorientation Program

In 1996, the CVRP was created for the purpose of utilizing cinema and other forms of mass media as creative channels of value formation. Through the years, the CVRP has provided grants to productions of socially relevant cinematographic work, training of movie workers and a program for audience awareness on the cultural and aesthetic values of films and researches. Since 1996, CVRP has supported sixty-six projects, averaging thirteen projects (Table 2) a year, and utilizing a total amount of 30.64 million pesos.

Most of the projects were implemented in 1999, registering an increase of 127.27% from the previous year’s level. One notable production supported by CVRP was the TV series 1896 which depicted heroic values of the leaders of the Philippine revolution against the Spaniards.

Table 2 : CVRP Projects, 1996 - 2000

Year Number of Projects Budget Utilization
1996 15 2,856,031.00
1997 07 10,960,000.00
1998 11 3,179,268.00
1999 25 11,231,039.00
2000 08 2,413,968.00
Total 66 30,640,306.00
Average 13 6,128,061.20

Decade of Culture and Nationalism

The celebration of the Decade of Culture and Nationalism and the Centennial of the Philippine Independence in 1998, resulted in the implementation of various artistic and cultural activities nationwide. Among them were the Centennial travelling exhibit, Tilamsik ng Liwanag, Panahon Na!, a pictorial exhibition of different events in Philippine History from 1896 to the present; visual arts centennial exhibition and competition, Siklab sa Sining a regional visual arts workshop and exhibition participated in by young artists; the Diwa ng Sining Awards; and the grand centennial celebration of Independence Day at the Rizal Park, spearheaded by the NCC.

Financial Support from the Government The development of The Sub-sector is recognized by the government as an important component of the total development of the country. This recognition is primarily expressed in terms of the budgetary support extended to the sector. Although the total budget for culture and the arts constituted only 0.28% of total government appropriation, the sector still received a generally increasing allocation vis-à-vis an increasing share in Gross National Product (GNP). Budgetary allocation for culture and arts increased from 0.529 billion pesos in 1992 to 1.722 billion pesos in 2000 (Table 3, Figure 1).

Table 3 : Government Budgetary Appropriations (`000 P) for Culture and Arts 
as Percentage of Gross National Product (GNP), 1992 - 2000

Year GNP Culture & Arts Budget % Share
1992 731,396,000 529,361 0.07%
1993 734,156,000 587,759 0.08%
1994 786,136,000 816,397 0.10%
1995 825,164,000 965,577 0.12%
1996 884,226,000 1,236,033 0.14%
1997 930,363,000 1,299,483 0.14%
1998 931,127,000 1,927,678 0.21%
1999 964,447,000 1,535,388 0.16%
2000 998,203,000* 1,721,509 0.17%

Source : NEDA (website) * - estimate


Percentage share of the culture and the arts budget ranged from a low of 0.07% in 1992 to a high of 0.21% in 1998, with an average yearly share of 0.13%.  The year 1998 registered a sizeable increase in percentage share, from 0.14% in 1997 to 0.21% in 1998 because of the celebration of the Centennial of Philippine independence. 

The collective budget of the primary cultural institutions ballooned by 385.88%, from 186.2 million pesos in 1992 to 904.7 million pesos in 2000. For the past nine years, the total budgetary appropriations reached 5.2 billion pesos (Figure 2).  The other cultural executive offices’ collective budget increased by 138.00%, from 343.2 million pesos in 1992 to 816.8 million pesos in 2000, with total allocation reaching 5.4 billion pesos for the same nine-year period.

The NCCA had a total budgetary allocation of 1.8 billion pesos from 1992 to 2000, a sizeable portion was utilized for cultural programs and projects. In 1993, NCCA funded 212 projects in the amount of 24.96 million pesos while in 2000, 111.66 million pesos for 245 projects, posting an increase of 347.28% ( Figure 3).

Figure 1 : Government Budgetary Appropriations (`000 P) for Culture and the Arts 
as Percentage of Gross National Product (GNP), 1992 - 2000

Figure 2 : Government Budgetary appropriations (`000 P) by Cultural
agency, 1992 - 2000

Figure 3 : NCCA Spending for Culture and Arts Projects including Organizational Development Activities, 1993, 1996 and 200


Throughout the nine-year period, there was a marked increase in funding for projects towards artistic creation and excellence as indicated in graph. The area of the Arts posted the highest percentage increase in fund utilization at approximately 110.30%, followed by Cultural Heritage.

Assessment of the Sub-sectoral Components  

The restoration and conservation efforts of the government was highlighted by the UNESCO declaration of eight Philippine structures and sites as  World Heritage Sites  from 1993 to 1999 . These are: 1) the Church of San Agustin in Paoay, Ilocos Norte [1993]; 2) the Nuestra Señora dela Asuncion in Sta. Maria Church, Ilocos Sur [1993]; 3) the Church of Sto. Tomas de Villanueva in Miag-ao, Iloilo [1993]; 4) the San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila [1993]; 5) the Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park in Palawan [1993]; 6) Banaue Rice Terraces in Ifugao [1995]; 7) the town of Vigan in Ilocos Sur [1999]; and, 8) Palawan Subterranean River National Park [1999].

In 1993, support was also given to the restoration of the Torogan in Lanao, considered to be of great cultural significance to the Maranao of Mindanao.

"Torogan" is the huge house of the Maranao sultan. It is characterized by butterfly-wing-like floor beam projections that are ornately carved and painted with "naga" and "pako rabong" designs. There are numerous posts, the front-most of which are made of huge trunks of trees. Above the cavernous hall inside, bearing the roof posts, is the main roof beam called, "rampatan", or intestine of the house. Multiple extended families live in the house together.


In order to preserve the intellectual, historic, and research value of some 13,000,000 historic and archival documents under the custody of the National Archives, a project was started in 1998 digitalizing these documents into an electronic database. To date, 3,731,943 images of Asuntos Criminales and 180,998 images of Asuntos Civiles were stored in 738 compact discs. In addition, the National Archives’s Conservation Laboratory was recently upgraded to world class status. It is now fully equipped with state-of-the-art conservation machines. It is run by technical staff who were trained abroad, specifically in Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.

Also in 1998, Republic Act No. 8492 was enacted by Congress establishing the NM and providing for its permanent home known as the National Museum System. The system is composed of the Department of Finance, old Congress, and DOT buildings on Agrifina Circle, and houses the Museum of the Filipino People, National Gallery of Arts, and the Museum of Natural History, respectively. The Museum of the Filipino People is highlighted by the archaeological and anthropological collections which include the finds in the underwater excavations of the early 17th century San Diego shipwreck. The private sector provided significant support in the rehabilitation of the Finance Building into the Museum of the Filipino People.

In 1999, a marker was installed at the Museum of the Filipino People which highlighted the inclusion of the Philippine Paleographs or the ancient syllabic scripts of the Tagbanua, Pala’wan Buhid, and Hanunuo in the "Memory of the World" register of UNESCO. Two Philippine historical markers were installed in international soil -  one in Dezhou City in the People’s Republic of China (PROC) honoring Padura Bataka who set up the first and only Muslim Filipino community in PROC, and another at Morrison Hill in Hong Kong where the first Philippine flag was sewn by Marcela Agoncillo.

 The preservation activities of The Sub-sector included archeological work which led to the identification of the pre-historic pottery in Cotabato and of the fossilized mandible of an orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) in the Tabon Caves of Palawan - the first physical evidence of land connection with Borneo during the Ice Age.

The conservation of works and artifacts of Philippine Cinema through the Film Archival Program has been given significant attention in 1999. The program supported the restoration and preservation of classic Filipino films like Tunay na Ina, Moises Padilla Story, Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos, Pagdating sa Dulo, Seksing-Seksi, Passionate Stranger, Nunal sa Tubig,  and Rubia Servios.

However, government efforts to conserve cultural heritage received a major blow with the demolition of the Jai-Alai building along Taft Avenue to pave the way for the construction of the building for the city courts of Manila. Constructed in 1940, the Jai-Alai building was not only an exemplar of art deco, but more importantly, it was a historic evidence of the Commonwealth period in our history.

Parallel to this, was the issue raised by concerned members of the civil society regarding the alleged desecration of the historic walls of Intramuros. There were claims that gross violations of the Intramuros Charter were committed in the constructions of the bars, music lounges, and restaurants in the walls and interior of Intramuros. Mezzanine floors were steel bracketed to the original walls, urinals were attached to the adobe, and holes for air-conditioning systems were punched into the walls. These violations will not only damage the original walls, but also change the general appearance of Intramuros which prides itself as a showcase of Philippine-Spanish architecture of the sixteenth to the nineteenth century.

Measures must be taken in order to minimize if not stop entirely the destruction of cultural heritage through the formulation and strict implementation of laws protecting Philippine cultural heritage.

2. Cultural Communities

The different ethno-linguistic groups in the Philippines have distinct traditions and creative artistic expressions that can enrich mainstream cultures. Efforts aimed at addressing this concern have led to the following accomplishments:

In 1992, a separate Subcommission on Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts (SCCTA) was created pursuant to Republic Act No. 7356, providing a more focused development initiative and addressing the plight of the indigenous peoples. Since then, various programs and projects were initiated and pursued by SCCTA.

From 1993 to 1999, twenty research projects were supported by the NCCA on the culture of various Filipino ethno-linguistic groups. These included ethnographic surveys of the Bikolano, the Sangil in Mindanao and the Ayta communities in the Philippines; documentation of the Ayta’s material and non-material culture; and a dictionary of the Negrito languages; and many more. 

Projects on capability building and networking among the Muslims and other cultural communities began in 1994.  Today, these projects continue to organize cultural communities into clusters for improved sustainability of their cultural programs. 

The Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan (GAMABA) was created by virtue of Republic Act No. 7355 in 1992 to accord Filipino traditional artists the highest honors for their technical skills and outstanding creativity, and to adopt programs that will ensure the transfer of skills to others. Three awards were granted in 1993, two in 1998, and three in 2000, bringing the total to eight awardees. Aside from the honor and prestige, each GAMABA awardee received an initial grant of 100,000 pesos and a monthly allowance, provided, they conduct training activities in their respective communities. 

In 1996, a summit entitled, Global Indigenous Cultural Olympics and Summit for Peace and Sustainable Development was held to discuss issues on economics, equity, and empowerment of indigenous peoples. It was participated in by 600 representatives from various countries.

The following year, Republic Act No. 8371, otherwise known as the Indigenous Peoples Right Act of 1977 (IPRA), was enacted to protect and uphold the indigenous peoples’s right to ancestral domain and lands, right to self-governance and empowerment, social justice and human rights, and cultural integrity. Section 38 of the IPRA Law further created the NCIP as the primary government agency responsible for the formulation and implementation of policies, plans, and programs to promote and protect the rights and well-being of the indigenous peoples.

Following the enforcement of the IPRA Law, a total of 916 projects were implemented in 1998 by NCIP in the thirteen regions of the country, accumulating an aggregate cost of P45,500,165.00 and benefiting 452,383 indigenous peoples.  These projects covered economic, human, and social, political, and environmental development.

For the period 1998 to 2000, the NCIP drafted the Ancestral Domains Sustainable Development and Protection Plans (ADSDPP) and institutionalized two educational assistance programs for the indigenous communities.

In order to preserve and perpetuate traditional culture and arts, three Schools of Living Tradition were established from 1998 to 1999: the Talaandig in Bukidnon, T’boli in Lake Sebu and Mandaya in Davao Oriental. As of 2000, eight more schools were approved to be established in Central Panay, Jolo, Palawan, Kiangan, Kankanaey, Lanao del Sur, Toril, and Sibulan.

School of Living Tradition – an informal school in a cultural community wherein traditional culture, arts, and customs are being taught by traditional artists and cultural workers to other members of the community, especially to the younger generation in order to preserve their distinct cultural practices.

  In addition to these Schools of Living Tradition, Manlilikha ng Bayan Centers were also established in four regions wherein GAMABA awardees and other traditional artists shared their skills to the members of their respective communities. In Oriental Mindoro, Ginaw Bilog, a Hanunoo Mangyan continued to share the old and new ambahan with his fellow Mangyans and promoted this poetic form in every occasion.

Ambahan – a poetic literary form composed of seven-syllable lines used to convey messages through metaphors and images. The "ambahan" is sung and its massages range from courtship, giving advice to the young, asking for a place to stay in, saying goodbye to a dear friend and so on. It is etched on the bamboo tubes using ancient Southest Asian, pre-colonial script called "surat Mangyan".


In Palawan, GAMABA awardee, Masino Intaray, taught Palawan youth their traditional music using gimbal (tubular drums), sanang (pair of small bossed-gongs with narrow rims), and agung (high bossed-gongs with wide turned-in rims). In Maguindanao, Samaon Sulaiman, shared his skill in kutyapi (two-stringed plucked lute) playing. Aside from kutyapi he is also proficient in the kulintang, agong, gandingan, palendag and tambul. Salinta Monon, a Tagabawa-Bagobo of Davao del Sur and Lang Dulay, a T’boli of South Cotabato taught the members of their communities the art of weaving the inabal and t’nalak cloths, respectively.

To foster understanding and appreciation for the culture and arts of the different ethno-linguistic groups, an arts festival entitled Dayaw was implemented in 2000. Dayaw showcased living cultural traditions through master arts forms unique to each group and the outstanding practitioners of these folk art forms. The festival provided an opportunity for cultural exchange among the ethno-linguistic groups as it featured a series of regional festivals that tackled issues and concerns on the recognition and respect for the cultural rights of indigenous peoples. 

While much was achieved for the country’s cultural communities, there are still issues and concerns which need to be addressed. For instance, the recent all-out war with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Central Mindanao has put on hold the peace process and has further alienated the Muslims and the Christians in that area. With the impact of war fresh in the minds of Filipinos, the government is now challenged with the important task of rebuilding unity, in which culture will definitely play a vital role. 

In conflict situations, like the case of Mindanao, the possibility of the destruction of cultural and historical objects is not a remote consequence. This, then, brings to mind the Protocol to the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, which was signed by the Philippines on March 26, 1999 but was not ratified. Perhaps the Philippine experiences of conflicts will push for the ratification of the Protocol so that it can be implemented to protect cultural infrastructure and objects.

3. The Arts

In recognition of the outstanding achievements of Filipino artists, various awards were established in the field of architecture, cinema, dance, theater, literature, music, visual arts, and mass media. In 2000, a total of 86 awards were given, posting an increase of 290.91%, as against the 22 awards given in 1992. 

The National Artist Award, which was instituted in 1972, has been conferred on forty-one artists in various categories such as visual arts, literature, dance, music, architecture, theater, and film. In addition to the honor and prestige, the National Artist awardees likewise received an initial grant of one hundred thousand pesos, a lifetime monthly stipend, annual medical and hospitalization allowance, interment assistance and state funeral at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. The CCP also continuously paid tribute to artists through the various Gawad CCP. 

There were other prestigious awards and recognition given to encourage and support excellent artistic creation like the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards, Philippine National Book Awards, Gawad Cecilo Lopez, Gawad Lope K. Santos,Gawad Komisyon Sa Tula, and Gawad Balagtas, for literature; Awit Awards, Metropop Awards, and Katha Music Awards for Music;  Gawad Urian, Film Academy of the Philipines Annual Academy Awards, PMPC Star Awards, Metro Manila Film Festival, and Annual Famas Awards  for cinema; Annual Aliw Awards, Annual KBP Golden Dove Awards, Rotary Club of Manila Journalism Awards for print media;  Gintong Aklat Awards and National Book Awards for publications; Joya Awards, Philip Morris Philippine Art Award, and Thirteen Artists Awards for visual arts; Philip Morris Awards, Nokia Arts Awards and the Ten  Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) sponsored by the Manila Jaycees and Gerry Roxas Foundation.

Recently, more awards were established which included: Philippine Art Awards, started in 1993; RCBC Kuwentong Kalikasan Katha ng Kabataan  in 1994; Surat Awards in 1997; Guhit Award in 1998; Asia Song Festival in 1995; Annual Cinemanila International Film Festival in 1999, and NVM Gonzalez Awards in 2000. 

Art competitions were also utilized to identify new talents like the Guhit Bulilit, National Students Arts Competitions, Young Painters’s Annual Competition, Caltex Science Arts Competition, Diwa ng SiningMetrobank Foundation Young Painters’s Annual National Painting Competition, and Letras y Figuras for visual arts;  the Gawad Emmanuel Lacaba and Surat Literary Arts Competition, for language and literature; and National Music Competition for Young Artists, for music. 

Excellent works by young artists were also produced during this period like: Buwan, a black and white short film which won second place in the experimental category in the CCP’s Alternatibong Pelikula at Video Awards and the Ishmael Bernal Award for Young Filmmaker at the second CineManila International Film Festival, and Mens Rea, the collection of twelve stories by Lakambini Sitoy.

Despite financial constraints, continued support was given to Filipino artists in the quest for international recognition. Through the period of eight years, many Filipino artists brought fame to the country which included: Ramon Orlina and Emmanuel Garibay who won first and second prizes in Sculpture and Painting, respectively, in the Second International Biennial of Basketball in the Arts in Madrid, Spain; actor Albert Martinez won the best actor award in the Brussels International Film Festival in 1998, for his portrayal of the national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. The film, Rizal Sa Dapitan, also won the Grand Jury Prize in the same film festival; Raymond Red’s Anino won the Palme d’Or Award for short film at the Cannes International Film Festival last year; Ms. Georgina Sanchez of Ballet Philippines won the Silver Medal Contemporary in Solo Category of the Ninth Concours International de Danse de Paris; and Powerdance won the International Grand Prix in Modern Dance Choreography. The Philippine Madrigal Singers was the Gran Premio Kutxa 1996 and Le Gran Prix Europeen 1997 winner while the Ateneo de Manila College Glee Club was the Grand Prix de la Ville de Tours 2000 winner. 

Other equally famous groups of artists in the international scene included the UP Filipiniana Dance Group, the UP Singing Ambassadors, Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company, Leyte Kalipayan Dance Group, Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, Philippine Educational Theater Association, Tanghalang Pilipino, Teatrong Mulat ng Pilipinas, Philstage, Kaliwat.              

The civil society is recognized as one of the key actors in the cultural sphere. The role that it played in the development of culture and the arts was undeniably significant. Various cultural and artistic programs were instituted by different business groups and foundations complementing the government efforts along this area. The cultural and artistic programs of these groups and foundations included maintaining theaters, community libraries, museums, and arts collections; holding arts competitions; running theater seasons and arts appreciation programs; and sponsoring concerts and festivals.  Access to cultural events like concerts, theatrical plays, and exhibits has been facilitated through the establishment of mini-theaters, exhibition areas, art galleries, and antique shops within shopping malls like the SM Malls, EDSA Shangri-La Plaza, Robinson’s Galleria,  Glorietta Mall in Makati, and others.

To ensure the decentralization and democratization of opportunities for creative expression, twenty-two local culture and arts councils were created in the different regions: one each in regions seven and nine; two each in CAR, Regions three, four, five, eight, and eleven;  three in region twelve; and, five in region six. Some of the country’s famous artists have opted to relocate to the provinces to promote the development of local culture and arts programs. This list of artists includes: Peque Gallaga (film) now based in Bacolod City, Leoncio Deriada (literary arts) and Corazon Kabayao (music) in Iloilo City, Ricardo de Ungria (literary arts) and Norberto Montero (visual arts) in Davao City, Coke Bolipata (music) in Zambales, Lutgardo Labad (dramatic arts) in Bohol and others. These councils and artists have provided direction for cultural development in the regions. Furthermore, outreach activities, countryside development programs, community organizing, and festivals have been implemented in different areas in the country and have provided greater access to cultural opportunities. 

Despite these initiatives and movements, there have been factors that were by no means conducive to the continued development of Philippine arts and posed problems to the cultural workers. For example, the recording and movie industries were plagued by illegal reproduction of CDs and VCDs. The well-organized international CD piracy syndicates have been using sophisticated equipment for the production of CDs and tapes which have resulted in significant losses in revenue. In the literary arts, there have been blatant violations of copyright laws. Thus, the government must be resolute in implementing the law against such crimes and impose stiffer penalties for violators in order to protect the artists’ rights to intellectual and artistic properties.

Local artists have found stiff competition from their foreign counterparts. For instance, in the case of the Local Film Industry, only 35% of the films reviewed by the MTRCB from 1992 to 1999 were locally produced.  (Figure 4). The government needs to act decisively to address the preceding issues and concerns in order to protect the welfare of Filipino artists and cultural workers.

Figure 4 : Number of local and foreign films reviewed by MTRCB, 1992 - 1999

4. Cultural Education and Dissemination

There has been a marked increase in participation of both print and broadcast industries in national communication and advocacy efforts towards instilling Filipino values, history, and culture and enhancing skills in science and mathematics among students. Television programming has focused on balancing entertainment with education and information dubbed as "eductainment or infotainment". Among the notable programs and stations are Tipong Pinoy, Pinoy Style, Hiraya Manawari, Bayani, and Lakbay TV which highlight the values of the Filipino culture, and Batibot, Sineskwela, and Math-tinik which enhance learning skills. Developmental messages in radio, TV, film and infomercials have carried advocacy content materials pertinent to population and health-related facts; the clean and green program; functional literacy; the fight against graft and corruption, drug abuse, and other issues. With the new information technologies, the media through the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), served as the powerful mechanism in facilitating the popularization of Filipino culture and arts.

In order to maximize the facility that media can provide in promoting culture and the arts, a number of video documentaries and films were produced for TV airing. Some of the notable productions were Tipong Pinoy [a total of twenty six episodes]; Juan de la Cruz, a story of a Filipino family spanning several generations from 1897 to the 1986 EDSA Revolution; Diwa, a thirteen-episode television series on the history of the Philippines from 1400s to the First Quarter Storm of 1971;  and, Siglo Filipino, a  documentary film tackling the history of the Philippines during the last 100 years. 

In an effort to further disseminate the cultural and artistic wealth of the country, NCCA supported 225 publications from 1992-2000 that included monographs, anthologies, museum brochures, cultural magazines, newsletters, documentation of cultural heritage, handbooks for the different art forms, and a cultural dictionary.

A number of projects were also undertaken toward the promotion of the use of Filipino and the preservation of other Philippine languages and literatures. One of these is the establishment of Language Laboratories on Active Filipino in 1995, initially in the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, and Batangas. In 1998, more laboratories were established in the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Mindoro, Pangasinan, Quezon, Rizal, and Tarlac. In addition, the tri-lingual vocabulary, Tausug-Filipino-English was published.

Language Laboratory on Active Filipino – established by the Commission on Filipino Language in the provinces to serve as a spring of knowledge and information about the Filipino language and other matters pertaining to the national language. It also serves as training ground and center for LGU personnel in upgrading their skills and capabilities in using Filipino in official transactions, communications and correspondences


The Sub-sector also supported travelling exhibits such as Tilamsik ng Liwanag, Kalakbay Kultura at Kasaysayan, Sungduan, Pelikula at Kultura, and Arkitekturang Filipino, that brought artistic, historical, and cultural information to the different regions.

In an attempt to address the promotion of peace and national unity, important projects were implemented last year, foremost of which is the year-long festival SAMBAYAN. This festival promoted culture and arts as the core of human development, national unity, and peace, and recognized creativity as an effective catalyst for change.  Consisting of various components such as performances, exhibits, workshops, lectures, conferences, and interactions, Sambayan was brought to twenty-four festival sites all over the country.

Likewise, the Mindanao culture and arts network initiated programs and activities to address the peace and order challenges in the area such as the crafting of a Culture and Development Framework in Mindanao and the implementation of programs like the Cultural Caravan for Peace, Culture Advocacy Radio Program in Jolo, Theater-for-Advocacy on cross-cultural and multi-ethnicity and Children and Women’s Cultural Program.

National celebrations have been observed annually to further promote culture and the arts through the staging of plays, musical and dance performances, tributes to artists, exhibits, competitions, awards, cultural festivals, and tours to galleries, museums, and libraries. In order to institutionalize these national celebrations, a number of proclamations were passed including Proclamation No. 683 declaring February as National Arts Month, Proclamation No. 798 declaring October as Museums and Galleries Month, Proclamation No. 837 declaring November as Libraries and Information Services Month and Proclamation No. 154 declaring the last week of April as National Dance Week. The 2000 National Arts Month celebration adopted the theme "Arts for Peace", another initiative towards the promotion of the culture of peace.

In 1997, the Philippine Culture and Arts in Cyberspace website was developed to provide the widest possible dissemination of Filipino culture and arts and to provide a venue for the active participation of artists and cultural workers at home and overseas. Now fully operational, the website includes an array of cultural information, a message board, a newsletter, a syndicated features service (NCCA Features), and a magazine (Araw) on line. For the year 2000, the total number of hits reached 1,446,786, posting an increase of 113.33% as compared to the total hits in 1999. Likewise, the other cultural agencies developed their respective websites. 

TNL also initiated the Public Libraries Information Network (PUBLIN) which, as part of the Documents Delivery System, provides access via the internet to Filipiniana and foreign collections of TNL and other public libraries. PUBLIN is a networking project which promotes resource sharing among public libraries and the National Libraries. It will later be linked with academic libraries. At the moment, there are 205 public libraries that are PUBLIN members. 65 of these libraries’ systems have been upgraded together with the Main Library into a new library system, the Library Solution.

In order to promote Filipino culture and the arts in the international community, cross-cultural exchanges have been continually carried out through the numerous bi-lateral agreements with different countries. To date, the Philippines has forged a total of 35 cultural exchange agreements with the different countries including the Peoples Republic of China, Myanmar, Laos, France, Portugal, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Spain, Singapore, and others. These cultural agreements have opened opportunities not only for cultural exchange but for international training programs, scholarships, participation in international competitions and festivals as well.

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