Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO
MANILA, Philippines — There’s no need for the creation of an “expensive bureaucracy such as a Department of Culture.”
House Senior Deputy Minority Leader and Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza had this to say as he rejected the proposed creation of a Department of Culture.
“We don’t really need another large and expensive bureaucracy such as a Department of Culture because we already have the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA),” Atienza said in a statement on Sunday.
He was referring to a measure that was seeking to reorganize the NCCA into an independent Department of Culture (DOC) to promote and develop the country’s cultural traditions.
READ: 10 senators push for creation of Department of Culture
Under Senate Bill No. 1528, or the proposed “Department of Culture Act,” funds will be appropriated for the DOC “in recognition of the vital role of Filipino culture in nation-building.”
With this, Atienza proposed that culture and sports be merged again with public education.
“What we absolutely need now is the immediate reintegration of culture and sports back into our public school system,” he said.
In 2016, Atienza filed House Bill 2628 which sought to “rectify” the Governance of Basic Education Act of 2001.
Atienza said the law reorganized the previous Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) into the now Department of Education (DepEd) “and effectively disconnected culture and sports from the school system.”
“Once we have the DECS back, we should be able to properly guide the youth towards conserving our rich history and heritage, promoting arts and culture, strengthening their minds and bodies, and molding them into leaders and custodians of our nation’s future,” he said.
The proposed DOC Act, he noted, seeks an initial appropriation of P2 billion for the new department on its first full year of operation alone.
The said measure was authored and sponsored by Senator Francis Escudero who chairs the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture.
Sorsogon Rep. Evelina Escudero, the senator’s mother, is pushing for the counterpart bill in the House, Atienza said.
“Nobody really knows what they are up to. They may possibly be interested in the future position of Secretary of Culture,” he said. /cbb
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