NEDA Bicol and NCCA partners for cultural sensitivity and awareness

NEDA Bicol and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) jointly rolled out a planning workshop on Integrating Cultural Sensitivity and Awareness in Bicol Regional Development Plan (RDP) 2017 to 2022. The workshop was attended by Culture and Arts Officers and Municipal Engineers from local government units (LGUs) and by representatives from the member-regional line agencies of the Regional Committee on Culture and Values last September 10, 2019.

RD Agnes E. Tolentino imparted to the participants that NEDA puts emphasis and has been pushing for a people centered-development plan by integrating culture and values in the PDP and RDP. “We have to focus our efforts in developing our human capital by cultivating the value of creativity and innovativeness among our people”.

The participants’ cultural sensitivity and awareness were further enhanced and reinforced by the inputs provided by cultural educators. Prof. Felipe “Jun” De Leon, Jr from the University of the Philippines, who talked on the Filipino culture and identity where he shared that “Filipino identity is what keeps us distinct from the others. It is our history, culture, art, music, food and language that define us. It looks at our past and our present, and how we redefine ourselves as we move toward the future”. He also revealed the hidden beauty of Filipino names such as Agani meaning harvest, Akasi – god of well-being, and many more.

Prof. Ricamela Palis of Colegio de San Juan de Letran-Calamba discussed culture and heritage as framework for local development. She explained the role of worldviews in shaping our culture since people have different ways of interpreting facts, and even view good and bad differently. “As development planners we should be able to extract the lessons and experiences of the past and define the strategy to preserve our Filipino identity”, she said.

NEDA presented the status, challenges and prospects of the Philippine Economy with focus on the Bicol Region and shared the Bicol RDP 2017-2022 Strategies, Indicators, Accomplishments and Challenges under Chapter 7 on Promoting Philippine Culture and Values.

Ms. Arlene E. Flores of the Program Monitoring and Evaluation Division of the NCCA encouraged the LGUs to access the 2019 NCCA Budget by submitting proposals for cultural mapping and for other cultural projects, activities, and events. The NCCA expressed commitment to provide technical assistance in conducting structural integrity tests for heritage structures.

The identification of updated indicators with defined targets, PAPs, and the corresponding duty bearers were the results of the workshop undertaken by the participants. These will be integrated in the updating of the Chapter 7 of the Bicol RDP and its results matrix.