/ 13 November 2020

MEMBERS of the Makabayan Bloc in the House of Representatives pushed for a measure that seeks to integrate Philippine cinema and theater appreciation in the secondary curriculum.

House Bill 474 or the proposed Philippine Cinema and Theater Appreciation Act for High School Students was filed by Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Jane Elago, Alliance of Concerned Teachers Party-list Rep. France Castro, Gabriela Women’s Party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas and Bayan Muna Party-list Reps. Carlos Isagani Zarate, Ferdinand Gaite and Eufemia Cullamat.

In their explanatory note, the lawmakers said that the Constitution mandates the State to conserve, promote and popularize the nation’s historical and cultural heritage and resources, as well as artistic creations.

“A genuine national policy on the promotion of Filipino cultural heritage cannot exist without the inclusion of Philippine cinema and theater development and appreciation as an integral part thereof,” the group explained.

The lawmakers stressed that it is imperative today to introduce the youth to Philippine cinema as they are being bombarded by foreign films and plays.

Under House Bill 474, the Department of Education, in coordination with the National Commission for Culture and Arts, Film Development Council of the Philippines and the University of the Philippines Film Institute, will formulate courses, and special lectures on Philippine Cinema which will be taught in secondary schools across the country.

These can be separate subjects or could be incorporated in existing subjects.

The DepEd shall also consult and coordinate with the NCAA and UPFI in writing, printing and publishing textbooks, manuals and other reading materials, as well as in the acquisition of film and other audio-visual materials to be used in the Philippine cinema appreciation courses.