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16 October 2013

NCCA Board on the destruction of heritage structures in the Visayas

National Commission for Culture and the Arts (...
National Commission for Culture and the Arts (Philippines) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Statement of the Board of Commissioners of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts:On the destruction of Heritage Structures in the Visayas
[October 15, 2013]
The national culture agencies condole with the loss of life in Bohol, Cebu and other parts of the Visayas. We fully support the national and local government’s priority in saving human life and rendering assistance to families and communities in need. On our part, we express our commitment to rescue and later, rehabilitate, damaged heritage structures, many of them churches that have been part of the life of the people for centuries, in collaboration with the Catholic Church, local government officials and communities. A majority of these structures have been declared National Cultural Treasures, National Historical Landmarks, and Important Cultural Properties, all of which are protected by the Heritage Law. In support of this mandate, we have agreed that the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), and National Museum (NM) shall be the lead agencies. Therefore:
  1. A joint team of experts shall inspect and evaluate the damage, starting Thursday, 17 October 2013, in order to:
    1. Establish the severity of damage;
    2. Identify properties that immediately need to be secured;
    3. Draw up priorities for restoration;
    4. Estimate the amount of human and financial resources necessary; and
    5. establish important linkages with stakeholders.
  2. The Heritage Task Force, as the joint group is called, shall coordinate closely with the Church, national and local government agencies in the rescue and restoration effort.
  3. The NCCA shall provide a mobilization fund for the initial (rapid) assessment, pending the national government’s decision on the rescue and rehabilitation efforts as a whole.
  4. The culture agencies shall convene upon the return of the Heritage Task Force and submit an official report to the Office of the President.