Two lawmakers are at odds over a proposal to set up a Department of Culture that will cost P2 billion to make it operational.
Senator Francis Escudero made the proposal via Senate Bill No. 1528, a move that was readily rejected by Rep. Joselito Atienza of Buhay Party-list.
“We don’t really need another large and expensive bureaucracy, such as a Department of Culture, because we already have the National Commission for Culture and the Arts,” Atienza said.
“What we absolutely need now is the immediate reintegration of culture and sports back into our public school system,” he added.
Atienza earlier batted for the “simple and practical reorganization” of the Department Education into the Department of Education, Culture and Sports.
“Our proposal is far less bureaucratic and won’t cost taxpayers extra money because we will just be restoring two bureaus under the DepEd—one for culture and one for sports. And these bureaus may be run by existing DepEd officials,” he said.
Atienza’s House Bill No. 2628 seeks to rectify the blunder committed by Congress when it passed the Governance of Basic Education Act in 2001 that reorganized DECS into DepEd.
“Once we have the DECS back, we should be able to properly guide the youth toward conserving our rich history and heritage, promoting arts and culture, strengthening their minds and bodies, and molding them into leaders and custodians of our nation’s future,” Atienza said.
The proposed Department of Culture Act authored by Escudero, committee on education, arts and culture chairperson, is set for plenary approval at the Senate.