House panel moves to save ethnic games
The House committee on youth and sports development has approved a bill, which seeks to preserve the country’s indigenous games and ensure that these would be enjoyed by future generations of Filipinos.
In a hearing Monday, the committee chaired by Abono Party-list Rep. Conrado Estrella III passed on first reading House Bill No. 6420 or the “Philippine Indigenous Games Preservation Act of 2017”.
In a statement, Ang Edukasyon Party-list Rep. Salvador Belaro, the bill’s principal author, said the country rich cultural tradition, including indigenous sports, tended to be slowly modified by the onslaught of digital modernization.
“Part of our rich cultural heritage are indigenous games such as sepak takraw and the like. The bill seeks to preserve our indigenous games to ensure that future generations of Filipinos can still enjoy them,” Belaro noted.
Under the measure, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), in coordination with the Department of Education (DepEd), will initiate measures to preserve indigenous games in the country, including their inclusion in the appropriate part of the curriculum in the basic education system of the schools; the preservation of such games either by documentary or other useful means; and the holding of regular demonstration of such games in national events and appropriate school activities.
The NCCA and the DepEd shall also coordinate in promulgating the implementing rules and regulations of the Act.
During the hearing, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chair Butch Ramirez, and Games and Amusement Board (GAB) chair Abraham Mitra expressed support for the bill.
Ramirez said PSC has already crafted a list of indigenous games in Ifugao and Mindanao, among others. He however added there are more indigenous games in Cagayan, Aurora, Cordillera, and other places in the country.
“It’s been long overdue and perhaps we can harmonize the plan of the [bill’s] author,” Ramirez said, adding that regional games featuring indigenous sports could be held initially before national competitions are conducted.
Mitra said the GAB would extend assistance if there will be professional competitions involving indigenous sports later on.
The bill provides for the inclusion in the budget of an initial P20 million for the implementation of the measure. However, Saranggani Rep. Rogelio Pacquiao said the amount might no longer be necessary if the PSC and Philippine Olympic Committee would be mandated to implement the Act. /kga