BARMM lawmakers introduce bill to preserve Bangsamoro cultural heritage
November 17, 2021

COTABATO CITY – To create a mechanism for the preservation and protection of the rich cultural heritage of the Bangsamoro people and their Sultanates, both tangible and intangible, as well as promote cultural enhancement by taking heritage inventory, some members of the Bangsamoro Parliament filed Parliament Bill 144 also known as Preservation of Bangsamoro Cultural Practices Act of 2021.

The Bangsamoro Organic Law states that the Bangsamoro Government is responsible for preserving the history, culture, arts, traditions, and rich cultural heritage of the Bangsamoro people and their Sultanates.

“In fulfilling this mandate, this measure mainly seeks to revise and enhance the scope of cultural preservation and education in the region, expanding its scope to include a particular focus on the rich cultural traditions and practices within the BARMM,” the bill’s explanatory note reads.

Various ethnolinguistic tribes inhabit the Bangsamoro region, each with its own traditions, cultures, and practices. From Bangsamoro’s perspective, traditional cultural heritage, whether tangible or intangible, has exceptional universal value.

“However, part of the many struggles of these groups is the protection and preservation of their rich cultural heritage–their artistic expressions, traditional arts and crafts, among others.”

It is important to emphasize, according to the bill’s authors, that the protection and preservation of the Bangsamoro people’s rich cultural heritage is a vital right provided in the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which must be consistently maintained and protected.

Said proposed measure also aims to fill the gap in the preservation and maintenance of the cultural significance of various practices, representations, expression, knowledge, and skills, as well as the instruments, objects, and artifacts associated with the rich cultural heritage of the Bangsamoro communities, groups, and individuals.

Individuals within the Bangsamoro region who will be classified as preservers of Bangsamoro intangible cultural properties, such as skilled weavers, chanters, dancers, and other artisans, will be recognized, supported, and incentivized under the proposed bill by the Bangsamoro Commission for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage.

All Bangsamoro Cultural Living Treasures and intangible cultural properties that are important to the Bangsamoro heritage should be registered in the Regional Registry of Cultural Property.

If passed into law, the BARMM’s education ministry should develop cultural heritage education programs to be incorporated into formal, alternative, and informal education, focusing on the protection, conservation, and preservation of the Bangsamoro cultural heritage, within one year of the measure’s effectivity.

The bill’s principal author is MP Amir Mawallil, with co-authors MPs Atty. Engr. Laisa Alamia Engr. Baintan Ampatuan Atty. Don Mustapha Loong Rasol Mitmug Jr., Atty. Suharto Ambolodto, Rasul Ismael, and Abraham Burahan. (LTAIS-Public Information, Publication, and Media Relations Division)

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