Thursday, June 17, 2021

Bacolod Council approves Intangible Heritage Ordinance

THE Bacolod City Council approved last June 26 a landmark ordinance authored by Councilor Wilson Gamboa Jr. that would safeguard, develop and promote Bacolod City’s Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Gamboa said because of the importance and relevance of this type of cultural heritage, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) has created a separate unit, the Intangible Cultural Heritage Unit (ICH), to purposely and solely document, recognize, create, maintain and transmit that such given expression and practice is well preserved and safeguarded.

Cecilia V. Picache, head of the ICH-NCCA, commended the ordinance as a “welcome development considering that ICH is not yet as widely known as our tangible heritage” which deemed said ordinance as a “landmark ordinance,” an unparalleled ordinance that is considered the first in the Philippines.

To institutionalize and localize said ICH of Bacolod City that would intersect with existing executive orders and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) World Heritage guidelines, Gamboa caused the crafting of the “Intangible Cultural Heritage Council of Bacolod City” Ordinance, which shall function mainly as to oblige the City Government of Bacolod to ensure viability of its ICH, including the identification, documentation, research, preservation, protection, promotion, enhancement, transmission, particularly through formal and non-formal education, as well as the revitalization of the various aspects of its intangible cultural heritage to pass on from generation to generation.

“When we talk about Cultural Heritage, there are two types. These are the Tangible Cultural Heritage (something which can be touched), like for example, historical memorials, monuments, edifice, structures, buildings, collection of objects, among others,” Gamboa said.

He added, “The Intangible Cultural Heritage (something which cannot be touched) on the other hand are traditions or living expressions inherited from our ancestors and passed on to our descendants such as, oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festival events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe or the knowledge and skills to produce traditional craft, among others.”

Gamboa, earlier last year, authored and approved the “Tangible Heritage Ordinance” known officially as an “Ordinance Providing for Protection and Conservation of Bacolod City Cultural Properties, Historical Markers, Monuments and Shrines” thus, he said, "completing the connection and conservation of all memories of the past which identifies us from the rest of the world, deepening our sense of unity, belongingness, and national pride."

He said one of the requirements for the Seal of Good Local Governance given by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) is to have an ordinance specifically focused on the preservation and conservation of our local heritage, both the tangible and intangible.

Gamboa also said this is timely because very soon, the city will have its museum, which would house and maintain an inventory of these documented artifacts, instruments, expressions and practices be preserved as part of our ICH. (PR)


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