To help promote the region’s rich cultural heritage and operationalize the government’s culture and the arts programs,  the Cordillera RDC passed RDC-RPOC Joint Resolution No. 09, s. 2018 on February 23, 2018 in Baguio City which urges all provincial, city, and municipal LGUs of the region to establish their local culture and arts councils or LCACs.

The creation of LCACs in CAR was first proposed by the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) during the Cordillera RDC Regional Culture and Arts Conference held in Banaue, Ifugao on October 13, 2017.  The proposal was forwarded to the RDC Committee on Indigenous Peoples’ Concerns, which, upon careful study, decided to endorse the proposal to the RDC for approval.

Both the PDP and the RDP strategies included the establishment of LCACs in all LGUs as a strategy to protect and promote local cultural heritage and the arts, this being mandated also by various laws and policies.   The DILG likewise required in its Seal of Governance (MC 2017-53), dated March 22, 2017, any two of the following:

1) presence of a Council for the promotion of culture and arts; 2) budget appropriated for the conservation and preservation of cultural property; or 3) availability of cultural property inventory in the LGU updated within the last two years.

The major tasks of the LCACs include: 1) preparing an annual plan on culture, arts and cultural heritage; 2) formulating programs and recommendations to develop and sustain local cultural and artistic talents, cultural industries, and traditional and contemporary arts and crafts; 3) conducting cultural events; and 4) ensuring the protection, preservation, conservation and promotion of the local cultural and historical heritage.  Other functions include the establishment of a Local Registry of Cultural Property, declaration of Local Heritage Zones, and the acknowledgement of the importance of the traditional artist as a singular conduit between skills of the past and the future.

The LCAC shall be comprised of the Local Chief Executive as the Chairperson, and the following as members:  the Chairperson of the Sangguniang Committee on Culture and the Arts, Local Cultural Officer or equivalent, Local Planning and Development Coordinator, Local Information Officer, Local Budget Officer, and representatives of the Local Tourism Council, DepED, CHED and TESDA.

In order to enhance the operation of the LCACs considering that the Cordillera is an IP-dominated region, the RDC-RPOC expanded the membership of the LCAC by adding the NCIP and the Indigenous People’s Mandatory Representative (IPMR) as regular members of the provincial/city LCACS, and the local IPMR as a regular member of the municipal Council.

For Baguio City, the establishment of the LCAC will further boost its image as one of the 64 countries in the world hailed as a “creative city” in the area of crafts and folk arts.