Protecting Bohol Heritage

THE country can now start its formal reference to a law, which guides cultural protection and preservation.

And for the rejoicing Boholanos, the enactment of the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009 adds more power to the earlier Bohol Arts and Cultural Heritage Code.

Leading the country's efforts on formal heritage protection and conservation, Boholanos had been guided by BACH Code as the bible for local cultural workers.

And the local law fits snugly into the new law, says cultural lobbyist and enthusiast Lutgardo Labad.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has finally inked into law an act which provides a backbone for efforts in aggressive advocacy for better cultural heritage protection and conservation of the country's priceless heritage.

For Bohol, the development also puts into formal gear the efforts of communities and cultural workers to protect, preserve and conserve built heritage best exemplified in centuries-old churches, watch and bell towers, public buildings, arch bridges and turn of the century structures which graphically present the country's history.

The President signed Republic Act No. 10066 which provides for the protection and conservation of national cultural heritage.

At the same time, the act also strengthens the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and its Affiliated Cultural Agencies which are tasked to oversee the careful implementation of such efforts, says Boholano cultural worker Lutgardo Labad.

The act, which was signed on March 26, 2010 was lobbied by NCCA through Presidential Adviser on Culture Cecile Guidote-Alvarez.

"The nation is now assured of a continued commitment for the protection and conservation of our national cultural heritage," Labad said.

Also called the "National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009," the law aims to streamline protection, preservation and promotion of the nation's cultural heritage, its property and histories, and the ethnicity of local communities, the multi-awarded cultural aficionado stressed.

It also seeks to establish and strengthen cultural institutions and protect cultural workers and ensure their professional development and well-being.

This act would now allow developers and art workers to approach conservation in an integrated and holistic manner where the state has asserted efforts to create a balanced atmosphere where the historic past co-exists in harmony with modern society.

This opens up wellsprings of relevant disciplines and technologies to be used in conservation and restoration efforts while administering the heritage resources in a spirit of stewardship for the inspiration and benefit of the present and future generations, Labad explained. (PIA-Bohol)