Saturday, December 09, 2006

Public hearings for cultural heritage and tourism bills scheduled at Senate

The Sub-Committee on Education, Arts & Culture of the Philippine Senate is set to discuss the following bills on December 12, 9:30 a.m. at the Sen. L.M. TaƱada Room 2/F Right Wing:

1. House Bill No. 5577 – “An Act Declaring the Municipality of Carcar in the Province of Cebu as a Cultural Heritage Zone” (Photo of Carcar Church left)
2. Senate Bill No. 54 – “An Act Providing for the Protection and Preservation of Philippine Cultural Heritage and for Other Purposes”
3. Senate Bill Nos. 282, 725 & 2252 – “An Act Providing for the Protection and Conservation of All Objects of Underwater Cultural Heritage in Philippine Water”
4. Senate Bill No. 576 – “An Act to Promote Filipino Education and Heritage Through the Establishment of Philippine Community Schools Abroad for Children of Filipino Migrant Workers and Other Overseas Filipinos”
5. Senate Bill No. 913 – “An Act to Provide for the Preservation and Cultivation of the Filipino Heritage Among Filipino Overseas Through the Teaching of Filipino Language and History, Assistance in the Establishment and Operation of Philippine Schools and Filipiniana Resource Centers Abroad, and the Creation of a Committee on Heritage and Culture for Overseas Filipinos, and Appropriating Funds Therefor”
6. Senate Bill No. 1089“An Act to Promote the Protection and Conservation of the National Heritage, The Creation of a National Heritage Commission, and Providing Penalties and for other Purposes”
7. Senate Bill No. 2123 – “An Act Providing Mechanisms to Regulate the Import, transit, Export, and Repatriation of Cultural Property into and From the Philippines”
8. Senate Bill No. 2386 – “An Act to Provide for the Preservation and Cultivation of the Filipino Heritage Among Filipinos Overseas Through the Teaching of Filipino Language and History, Assistance in the Establishment and Operation of Philippine Schools and Filipiniana Centers Abroad and Establishing a Trust Fund Therefor”

You can read the HCS Position Paper for the said hearings here.

The Committee on Tourism joint with the Committees on Environment & Natural Resources and Ways & Means is set to discuss the following bills on the same day at 1:00 p.m. at the Sen. C.M. Recto Room 2/F Right Wing:

1. House Bill No. 187“An Act Declaring Malibik-Libik Falls of the Municipality of General Emilio Aguinaldo, Province of Cavite as a national tourist spot and for other purposes
2. House Bill No. 574“An Act Declaring the Island of Lahuy, Covitas, Guinahuan, Luksuhin, Malibagan and Masag, of the northeastern coast of the Municipality of Caramoan, Province of Camarines Sur as tourist zone
3. House Bill No. 591“An Act Declaring the Atulayan Island of the Municipality of Sagnay, Province of Camarines Sur as a tourist zone
4. House Bill No. 786“An Act Declaring the Island-towns of Biri, Capul, San Antonio and San Vicente, all in the Province of Northern Samar as eco-tourism zones
5. House Bill No. 2072“An Act Declaring the Province of Bohol as an eco-cultural zone” (Photo of Chocolate Hills above)

6. House Bill No. 3234“An Act Declaring as a tourist zone Barangay Consocep in the Municipality of Tigaon, Province of Camarines Sur, providing for the priority development thereof and for other purposes” (Photo of Tumaguiti Falls in Consocep left)
7. House Bill No. 3417“An Act Declaring not less than seven hectares within or around the vicinity of Malabsay Falls within the territorial jurisdiction of Naga City or its environs as a tourist zone and prescribing for its priority development
8. Senate Bill No. 772“An Act Granting certain incentives to resident Filipinos who will travel to domestic tourist destinations and for other purposes

* * *

Update: The public hearing at the Senate was cancelled at the last minute because the senators had to attend the Bicam in Batasan. It just shows the effects of all this unnecessary politics on their real job which is to legislate new laws that will benefit the country. Sigh! Anyway, the hearing was reset to next Monday, December 18.

10 comments:

  1. overtureph11.12.06

    With the campaign and the pending bill for heritage conservation, there should be financial backing. With all the campaign and even with an enabling law I don't think much will come out of it if there is no money or financial sustainability in maintaining and conserving heritage structures. We could all talk and blog about heritage conservation to death but financing will play a very important role if we are to conserve our heritage. There must be a budget and a source of fund other than the government.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Heritage Conservation Society Position Paper
    12 December 2006
    Hearing of Sub-Committee on Education, Arts and Culture


    Thank you for inviting the Heritage Conservation Society (HCS) to the hearing of these committees. As president and chairperson, it is my privilege to be representing the HCS this morning.

    Since 1994, the HCS has promoted the protection and restoration heritage structures, sites and settings and their adaptive re-use. The HCS is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and with the Philippine Commission for NGO registration.

    Before going into the specifics of each Senate Bill, allow me to bring to the attention of these honorable Committees the following points.

    1. There is an urgent need to review and revise existing presidential decress, executive orders and other legislation about heritage protection and conservation, to avoid redundance and duplication.
    2. Meanwhile, there is an urgent need for the effective enforcement of these existing laws and legislation because a lot of our heritage structures are being demolished and destroyed with impunity.
    3. Institutions mandated to conserve heritage (NCCA, NHI. National Museum) need a supplementary budget for that specific purpose. Moreover, they need police power and/or police assistance to enforce their mandates
    4. Involve the Departments of Local Government, Public Works and Highways, Finance, Education , Environment and Defense in the conservation of heritage and historical sites and settings.

    Now for the details. I visited your website but could not get copies of these bills.

    HBN 5577-“An Act Declaring the Municipality of Carcar, in the Province of Cebu as a Cultural Heritage Zone (by Reps. Gullas and Noel)
    • It is assumed that this House Bill was drafted in accordance with existing laws and jurisprudence on built heritage, sites and settings (Please refer to LAWS and JURISPRUDENCE ON BUILT HERITAGE, published by the National Commission on Culture and the Arts and the Public Information Office of the Supreme Court)
    • This HB should indicate responsibilities. Ordinances with rules and regulations will have to be passed; ordinances; an official registry list and detailed architectural documentation of all heritage structures, sites and settings have to be accomplished.
    • HB should indicate that other government agencies like the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), Departments Local Government, Public Works and Highways, Education, Finance (for tax rebates), the Solicitor General should be informed about this declaration and should act accordingly.
    • This HB is significant as it encourages other provinces, municipalities, and cities to preserve and protect their cultural and historical heritage for the benefit of future generations of Filipinos.

    SBN 54- “An Act Providing for the Protection and Preservation of Philippine Cultural Heritage and for Other Purposes” ( by Sens. J. Flavier and E. Angara)
    SBN 1089-“An Act to Promote the Protection and Conservation of the National Heritage. The Creation of a National Heritage Commission, and providing penalties and for other Purposes” (by Sen. E. Angara)
    • As earlier mentioned, what we need is a thorough review of all existing presidential decrees, executive orders, administrative orders and other acts, laws, etc, at the national and local levels to determine how effective or ineffective these have been in protecting and preserving Philippine cultural and historical heritage.
    • We also need a thorough review of all the international treaties, protocols and agreements that the Philippine Government has signed; which of these have formed part of our national laws; and how these have been implemented.
    • The Heritage Conservation Society (HCS) humbly proposes that the honorable SENATE assign the appropriate committees to take care of the two above-mentioned points.
    • The HCS believes that the creation of a “National Heritage Commission” is REDUNDANT. The National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the National Historical Institute (NHI), and National Museum of the Filipino People (NMFP) have existing committees and offices which are supposed to identify, protect and conserve our heritage, historical sites and settings. It will be more effective to appropriate an additional “heritage budget” to said government institutions.
    • It is not clear WHO or WHAT GOVERNMENT AGENCY has the power to enforce existing laws on heritage protection. Neither the NCCA, NHI, NMFP has the police power to enforce any of the existing laws and jurisprudence that protect Philippine heritage.
    • There are no effective measures for enforcement and compliance especially when the Church, and private property owners and wayward bureaucrats are concerned. Local government officials have also ignored national legislation. (Pls. refer to privilege speech of Sen. Alfredo Lim “Lust for Silver over Filipino Heritage”)

    SBN 913-“An Act to Provide for the Preservation and Cultivation of the Filipino Heritage Among Filipinos Overseas through the Teaching of Filipino Language and History. Assistance in the Establishment and Operation of Philippine Schools and Filipiniana Resource Center Abroad and a creation of a Committee on Heritage and Culture for Overseas Filipinos and Appropriating Funds therefore” (Sen. J. Estrada)
    SBN 2386 has a similar purpose (by Sen. M. Villar)
    • At present, the Department of Education is aggressively pushing English seemingly at the expense of Filipino and other main vernacular languages like Cebuano. Yet, these SBs aim to propagate the Filipino language among our overseas workers. Isn’t that a contradiction?
    • The objectives of these SBs are laudable but, if we allow the wanton demolition and neglect of our heritage structures, landmarks, sites and settings, the overseas Filipino workers will have nothing to go back home to. (Please refer to “Where is my plaza” by this writer)

    Some questions to the Committees:
    1. Whatever happened to the SB introduced by then Sen. Noli de Castro about the preservation of the heritage lighthouses in the Philippines? The Heritage Conservation Society commended him for that senate bill and would like to remind the Committees conducting this hearing about the importance of that SB.
    2. Next year will be the centennial of the 1907 Philippine Assembly. May we know how Congress plans to commemorate that event? One of the Acts passed by the Philippine Assembly was the Gabaldon Act which appropriated Php 1 million for the construction of public schools all over the country. The HCS and DepEd have been restoring Gabaldon schoolhouses by virtue of the “Heritage Schoolhouses Restoration Program”.
    3. In 2008, the Teachers Camp in Baguio City will celebrate its centennial. The HCS is involved in the restoration of five structures in that complex. The area needs protection because it is being eaten up and subdivided in such a way that it might soon lose its heritage quality. Can the Senate draft a bill protecting Teachers Camp from further “gerrymandering’?

    In behalf of the Heritage Conservation Society, I would like to thank the honorable Senators for inviting us to this hearing to present our comments and animadversions. Please be assured that the HCS is your staunchest ally in the conservation of Filipino heritage.

    Good day to you all.

    Gemma Cruz Araneta
    President/Chairperson

    ReplyDelete
  3. Question : Can I go there to see the actual proceesing or by invitation?

    I just want to know since a similar incident happened a few months ago (hearing about wildlife act) in DENR . we were caught unaware that they need to get our name list a few days before going to the said hearing...

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  4. I'm not sure. Maybe you could call the office of Sen. Angara to find out. Their contact numbers are in the Senate website.

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  5. ThisFire14.12.06

    About the new bill and laws, what laws! They make all these pang-arte laws just to make things look tight, strict and professional. ARTE!!! The problem with them is in enforcing it and enforcing action if any laws were broken.

    ReplyDelete
  6. There is nothing to enforce because most of our heritage structures are not declared. Which is why we need to streamline the old laws with newer ones to correct some mistakes and address current issues.

    We always protest and go to court when a declared site is violated. The Pila issue which was carried by John Silva is the best example of how laws were implemented simply because Pila was declared and there was a law to back advocates up.

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  7. rosedizon6.10.08

    I'm doing a seminar paper on the Preservation of Philippine Cultural Heritage and I googled the word and your site appeared...anyway, this is kind of a late comment but do you know what happened to all of these house bills? :) thanks...it would really help my paper... :) hope to hear from you soon...since my deadline is on the 11th of October :) thanks in advance...

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  8. Please check the office of Sen. Alan Cayetano for status. We are waiting for him to refile the new version.

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  9. rosedizon7.10.08

    i visited the senate's website and found new SBs that are related to my topic...pending pa rin... they are not really the priority of our legislators...

    anyway, thanks for the suggestion...and i hope these bills get enacted in the near future...Kudos to your blog and your advocacies... :)

    By the way, how do you become a member of HCS?

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  10. Contact our Secretariat at 5212239 or hcs_secretariat@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete

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