February 3, 2023

A city councilor wants the Baguio City Culture and Arts Council (BCCAC) institutionalized.

Councilor Vladimir Cayabas proposed an ordinance that sought to create the BCCAC to strengthen the distinct cultural identity of Baguio City. 

In his proposal, Cayabas cited Department of the Interior and Local Government Memorandum Circular 133, s. 2017, which enjoins local government units to legislate for the establishment of a Local Culture and the Arts Council.

He also mentioned the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022, which underscores the promotion of culture-sensitive governance and development and greater awareness of diverse culture and values.

Under the proposed ordinance, the BCCAC shall spearhead programs that are geared towards cultural appreciation and empowerment.

It shall align its mandates on the Philippine Strategic Framework to Promote Philippine Culture and Values and shall progressively promote culture-centered programs and policies in local development efforts and governance.

It shall compose of the city mayor as the chairperson, a representative from the culture and arts sector as co-chairperson, the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) coordinator as the vice chairperson, and the local cultural officer as the action officer.

Members shall consist of concerned city department heads and representatives of various government agencies.

One of its main mandates is to craft policy recommendation related to local culture and arts to attain “cultural appreciation and empowerment” among the locals.

Recommendations may include legislative measures for the protection and permissible support to local cultural workers, bearers, and artists.

It shall also assist the city government in setting up its cultural agenda that may include institutionalizing heritage conservation plans and programs and assess culture and arts-related programs of the city government deemed to be eligible for execution.

Likewise, it shall assist the education sector in mainstreaming cultural education in the basic, technical, vocational, and higher education systems in support and in compliance with the Philippine Development Plan.

An amount of P1 million shall be appropriated each year from the annual budget of the CPDO to be used for culture and arts program policy research and development in aid of legislation, public consultations, collaborative meetings, and policy vetting, assessment, and formulation.

The proposed ordinance has been referred to the committee on education, culture, creativity, and historical research.

In 2021, the Creative Baguio City Council was created through Ordinance 46-2021 also authored by Cayabas, to lead in policy recommendation with an end view of growing a progressive and responsive local creative economy. It is also tasked to assess and review creative-related programs of the city and empower stakeholders in the creative sector and industry. – Jordan G. Habbiling