NCCA scores blunders in cultural performances

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Sunday, May 11, 2014


INTELLECTUAL property rights that is.

This as National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCCA) said cultural performances require consent from the concerned community to maintain the authenticity.

This was stressed by the NCCA addressing issues concerning representations of cultural dances on academic institution events, documentaries, films and shows including talent competitions and even beauty pageants.

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Legal counsel for NCCA lawyer Trixie Angeles said the issue is covered by Republic Act 10066, or the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009, which recognizes the intangible heritage of cultural communities and aims to protect it as part of the right of Indigenous Peoples.

"To performers who wish to appropriate the expression of cultural communities, if you want your own rights protected in terms of copyright, it follows that you must also protect the intellectual property of the community from whom you derived your inspiration," Angeles said.

She continued it is a matter of balancing interests – the right of IPs to ensure the sanctity of how their cultural heritage is portrayed and the right of performers and artists to use these as inspiration in their craft.

NCCA stressed there is no opportunity it will sponsor or subscribe to outside performances when the cultural community has not been asked and consulted first.

Members of the local community from which these practices originate are usually preferred to perform in presentations. This is to ensure the authenticity of the performance and to properly portray its significance in the community.

"A cultural dance performed by a group outside the community merely for entertainment renders the dance meaningless," Angeles said.

Although they are not discouraging showcase of cultural dances, Angeles said they are not advocating people from outside the cultural community to do it.

Accordingly, NCCA’s Committee on Cultural Education under the Subcommission on Cultural Dissemination is continuously coordinating with institutions, regional offices, local government units and even non-government organizations to impart knowledge on the National Cultural Heritage Act. LGUs are also mandated to create registries of cultural properties for cultural mapping.

Performers and artists wanting to ask consent from a cultural community may coordinate with the NCCA. (Giovani Joy Fontanilla)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on May 12, 2014.

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