Benguet seeks cultural mapping

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Governor Nestor Fongwan is seeking the help of the National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCCA) to set into place heritage and conservation efforts in the province.

In a letter addressed to NCCA Executive Director Adelina Suemith, the governor requested the NCCA to assess the provincial museum and conduct cultural mapping of the entire province.

Fongwan said the NCCA's help is crucial to finally trace the lineage and history of both the Ibaloi and Kankan-ey tribes in the province.


The NCCA has approved both requests and is set to send experts in the following months.

The NCCA Committee on Museums will first assess the provincial museum to its setup, content and overall preparedness to function as a legitimate museum, after which a cultural mapping of the entire province will ensue.

Fongwan met with NCCA commissioner for the Subcommission on Cultural Heritage (SCH) Father Harold Rentoria, who stressed the need for the province to map their heritage and identify heritage sites for validation.

Taoid, the Ilocano term for “heritage,” is the flagship program of the NCCA led Rentoria.

Rentoria said the rich culture of the province through its rituals, practices and preserved areas are important point to consider in the coming cultural mapping.

Preserving national heritage is the primary mandate of NCCA through Republic Act 10066 or the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009, which mandates all local government units to do a cultural mapping of their areas.

“I want to have a written account of all areas which are rich in heritage and culture in the province and have them certified with the NCCA,” Fongwan said.

The National Committee on Cultural Education (NCCEd) initiated a National Cultural Mapping Project as part of the implementation of the NCCA flagship Philippine Cultural Education Program (PCEP).

The project consists of three phases; the first phase involve the identification of regional cultural mapping partner conduits the second phase, the production of a national cultural index and the National Validation Workshop, the third phase of the National Cultural Mapping Project.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on May 16, 2014.

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