The “Cultural Education Program Act of 2022” was filed by four-term Senator Loren Legarda to integrate Philippine arts and culture into the country’s educational system.

“Our culture is the narrative that binds Filipinos regardless of ethnicity, social class, or educational background into a common chronicle of tradition, trials, and triumph. It is our identity and, therefore, must be preserved and passed on to the next generation,” Legarda said.

Under Senate Bill No. 242, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) will collaborate with the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Technical Education and Skill Development Authority (TESDA) in formulating and implementing plans and programs that will integrate and mainstream Philippine arts and culture in the national education system.

A Cultural Education Program (CEP) will be created to develop and implement an enhanced Special Program for the Arts (SPA); mainstream indigenous knowledge systems, skills, and practices through the institutionalization of appropriate Schools of Living Traditions (SLT) model in the formal education system; support the K-12 program of DepEd, both in the formal and informal systems; and introduce culture-based technical and vocational courses.

Legarda stressed that “the government has already taken concrete steps to address the need to safeguard the country’s intangible cultural heritage through the establishment of Schools of Living Traditions (SLTs). However, our culture has a fundamental role and function as the foundation of our nation. We need to further develop our country’s unique and diverse cultural heritage through this measure.”