Lawmaker wants to create national performing arts companies

THE House Committee on Basic Education and Culture has proposed the creation of the Philippine National Performing Arts Companies covering the fields of ballet, contemporary dance, choral and orchestral music and theater.

Rep. Rosenda Ann Ocampo (6th District, Manila), vice-chairperson of the House body, said the proposal seeks to recognize the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that have demonstrated pioneering initiatives in the development of these various fields of endeavor.

Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento (1st District, Western Samar), head of the technical working group, said the proposal will be a substitute measure for House Bill 4260 declaring Ballet Philippines as the National Ballet Company which was opposed by various other ballet groups in the country.

The substitute bill shall create a 15-member selection committee in the performing arts designated by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) to draw up the rules and guidelines for the selection process of the National Performing Arts Companies.

The panel shall select the qualified Performing Arts Companies which consist of ballet, contemporary dance, choral music, orchestral music and theater.

Under the bill, each of the national performing arts companies shall be entitled to an equal use of cultural venues and other government facilities devoted to cultural and artistic performances and shall have access to grants and are entitled to the protection of their work, music, choreographies, and other artistic creations.

The National Ballet and Contemporary Company, National Theater Company and the National Orchestra Company will each get a budget allocation of P10 million per year while the National Choral Company will get P5 million.

“These companies will exist for a period of five years. The panel will then assess their performance to determine if they will again qualify for another five years,” Sarmiento said.

Under the bill, a maximum of three from each of the next qualified applicants from each performing arts company shall be entitled to at least P2 million a year, renewable upon evaluation, for performance, research, documentation and commissioned work.

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