THE National Commission for Culture and the Arts called on members of both houses of congress to approved the proposed creation of the Department of Culture to assist the education department in identifying specific programs which would center on Philippine culture.

During the launching of the Arts Month in Baguio City, NCCA Chairman and National Artist Virgilio Almario pointed out the need to propagate various educational programs on culture particularly for the youth.

"Our proposal at the lower house is currently pending under the committee on government reorganization instead of the committee on education and culture. We are expecting some delay in the passage of this proposed bill because they would have to study the budget and staffing for such a department," Almario explained.

The NCCA official observed a weakness in the education department's curriculum in terms of cultural awareness and sensitivity for the youth which prompted them to propose for the creation of a cultural department.

"Like for Baguio City which has a very rich intangible heritage coming from a wide range of community, it is important that its cultural music, dance, rituals and other non-tangible heritage be highlighted and featured," Almario added.

The NCCA is planning to meet with the committee members of the lower house of congress to discuss with them the importance of creating such department.

"We are planning to visit the lower house to discuss with them on how we can fast track the passage of the proposed bill, but as compared to the Senate, I still have to hear any disagreement from any of the Senators regarding its creation of the cultural department," Almario added.

Malacanang's Presidential Legislative Liaison Office have considered the creation of the department as an urgent measure, but the NCCA would still have to hear from the President of certifying the bill as priority.