July 15, 2024

The House of Representatives approved on third and final reading a bill that sought to create a special high school for the arts for talented students in Baguio City.

Baguio City Rep. Mark Go authored HB 10556, which sought to form the Baguio City High School for the Arts to nurture young artists’ creative talents and support the city’s long-standing heritage of folk art and crafts.

This would also support the city’s commitment to upholding its creative and cultural traditions and providing sustainable livelihood to its local artisans.

Once signed into law, the school will be administered and supervised by the Department of Education, in close coordination with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

The NCCA and CCP will provide policy direction and technical assistance to the school through the DepEd-Cordillera office and Baguio City’s schools division office.

Go said the approval of HB 10556 is a significant milestone for Baguio City, a city that is known for its strong cultural traditions and highly values its creative industries.

He added that the school would provide an avenue for talented youth in Baguio and Northern Luzon to hone their skills and foster artistic expression.

Baguio City became the first city to be inducted into the Unesco Creative Cities Network in 2017, which recognizes cities with rich cultural heritage, and that recognize creativity as a major factor in their urban development.

Go said a formal academic institution focused on the arts would help ensure long-term sustainability in the creative sector, in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

The City of Pines is home to a bustling creative tourism and artistic community and counts National Artist Benedict “Bencab” Cabrera and famed director Kidlat Tahimik as long-time residents.

“Apart from renowned Filipino artists, there are many up-and-coming young artists from various fields of traditional and contemporary art who also hail from Baguio,” Go said. “Culture and the arts are essential to the holistic development of society. As such, it is important to inculcate in the youth the value of the arts, to give them an avenue for their creative pursuits, and to introduce them to real world opportunities in the creative sector.” – Press releas