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Friday, May 15, 2015

Mindanao cultural educators, artists urge MinDA to fortify culture, arts agenda in Mindanao 2020

By Rene V. Carbayas

DAVAO CITY – Cultural workers, educators, and artists of Mindanao have pushed for the strengthening of cultural, arts and heritage agenda in Mindanao 2020.

From the output of the recently concluded integration workshop of the different Mindanao-based sub-commission members of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) here, Carly Sereso of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) thanked the NCCA for brining to MinDA’s attention the agenda of the cultural artisits and workers and he admitted that MinDA and the Mindanao 2020 plans lack the very “soul” of Mindanao in direct reference to culture, arts, and heritage.

MinDA said the present plan is largely focused on security, social, and economic development.

MinDA is Mindanao’s lead agency in coordinating and integrating development efforts to bring about accelerated socio-economic development in the area by encouraging the active and extensive participation of all sectors in the development process.
“We consider very important our socio-cultural aspect because if we try to look at the development aspect is purely economic, knowing that there diverse cultures in Mindanao,” Sereso said.

MinDA further said that there are four areas of intervention to incorporate culture, arts, and heritage agenda in Mindanao 2020: 1) study the roadmap in the light of the Philippine Development Plan and that of Mindanao and endorse it to partner agencies and institutions, 2) identify aspects in the roadmap for implementation in the MinDA level, 3) identify resources and partners for development opportunities and collaboration of MinDA and NCCA and other partner agencies, and 4) identification of gaps for culture and arts future planning and programming by NCCA and other agencies or with MinDA.

Fr. Albert Alejo of the NCCA Sub-Committee on Literary Arts said that MinDA should distinct itself from NEDA (National Economic Development Authority) and challenged MinDA to be a culture-based body.

“MinDA could exist and be distinct as a body if it is very familiar with the soul and culture of Mindanao, otherwise we contend with having NEDA,” Fr. Alejo said, challenging MinDA to embrace the culture of Mindanao.

Cultural workers, artists, and educators from the different parts of Mindanao met at Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City last April 21 to revisit the plans that each sub-committees have prepared in previous meetings and consolidate them to become a one Mindanao plan that will serve as the roadmap of Mindanao Culture, Arts, and Heritage Indicative Action Plan: Period 2016-2017.

“This is not a program planning. We are planning for results. We are planning for impact outcomes,” workshop facilitator Nestor T. Horfilla stressed, hoping to make the consolidated plan be more implementable.

In her opening remarks, Marichu G. Tellano, Chief of NCCA Plan/Policy Formulation and Programming Division, said that the meeting was in response to the clamor that while each committees meet and create programs and activities respectively, there was no opportunity to get-to-know one another and more importantly to harmonize the plans and programs so these may have greater impact to the communities NCCA is serving.

In her message, NCCA Executive Director Adelina M. Suemith said that NCCA has been engaging lots of sectors in consultation activities in order to improve its services to the people and saw the need to find new ways in planning and sharing of resources in view of the challenges posed by the Aquino Administration.

“In this way, the NCCA empowers the regions to dream for themselves and achieve these dreams at their level. NCCA hopes to see an improved sense of identity among the diverse peoples of Mindanao,” she said.

The collective Mindanao Region Culture-and-Arts Action Plan was set for a two-year period starting 2016 until 2017, and intended to harmonize the Culture-and-Arts strategic directions in Mindanao with the three sub-sector development outcomes, namely: 1) established culture as pillar for sustainable development, 2) advanced creativity and diversity of artistic expression, and 3) promoted strong sense of nationhood and pride in being Filipino through culture and arts.