THE House of Representatives and the Senate have both approved their respective bills seeking to invigorate and further promote our country’s arts and culture. They did so before they went on recess for the upcoming mid-term elections next May.
The House measure, titled the “Philippine National Performing Arts Companies Act” (HB 7785) provides the framework and parameters for designating and subsidizing national performing arts companies in the various art genres and providing them assistance grants to support their missions.
Crafted by Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda, HB 7785 also seeks to honor the chosen National Performing Arts Companies (NPACs) for their noteworthy contributions to the preservation of the country’s arts and culture, and social development and welfare.
The designated NPACs will include a National Ballet/Contemporary Dance Company, National Theatre Company, National Orchestra, National Choral Group, and National String Ensemble.
They must undertake continuing training programs for their performing artists; promote artistic excellence standards that will help elevate their genre; conduct research and documentation for the preservation and dissemination of Filipino art masterpieces; stage annual performances at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP); develop inventories of original Filipino works that help define our national cultural identity; and maintain their well-managed viable organizations.
A 15-member Selection Committee. chosen jointly by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and CCP from a field experts who are knowledgeable in the technical aspects of the performing arts will designate the NPACs. They will elect a Chairperson from among themselves.
To qualify as NPACs, they must be national in scope; maintain high standards of artistic performance excellence; have represented the country in international engagements and acclaimed by foreign audiences and critics alike; have maintained professional track records of continuing undertakings; and have sustainable organizations and able to match their state subsidies.
The chosen National Ballet/Contemporary Dance Company, National Orchestra, and National Theater Company will each be appropriated P10 million yearly, while National Choral Group and National String Ensemble will each get P5 million yearly, both for five years, which may be adjusted after the period.
These program components can easily be integrated into the mandate of the separate Department of Culture and Arts proposed by Sen. Loren Legarda in a bill now pending in the Senate.
With all these, can we look forward to the golden age of our performing arts?