PH Participates in UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Committee


Philippine Ambassador and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO Ma. Theresa Lazaro delivers intervention during the 12th Session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (12COM) in Jeju Island, Republic of Korea.

06 December 2017 JEJU ISLAND – The Philippines, as a member of the Committee, is attending the 12th Session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in Jeju Island, Republic of Korea being held this week.

Philippine Ambassador and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO Ma. Theresa P. Lazaro leads the Philippine delegation to the conference. the Philippines will participate in the examination of 41 elements for inscription on the Urgent Safeguarding and Representative Lists of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Convention. The Committee will also discuss intangible cultural heritage in emergencies and measures to enhance international assistance for safeguarding of ICH throughout the world.

In her intervention, Ambassador Lazaro welcomed new States Parties to the ICH which bring total ratifications to 175. She called for greater assistance for capacity-building programs in Asia and the Pacific Island States. She likewise supported integration of intangible cultural heritage in education systems, citing the Philippines National Cultural Heritage Act which includes provisions on culture and education.

Ambassador Lazaro recommended that the Committee engage in more strategic and forward-looking discussions to determine gaps and future directions of the Convention, in wake of changing needs and interests of States Parties and growing threats to intangible cultural heritage, such as violent extremism and natural disasters.

In this regard, the Philippines may submit a nomination next year for the urgent safeguarding of traditional craftsmanship from Marawi affected by the recent conflict, in recognition of UNESCO’s role as an international partner and possible provision of assistance and capacity-building for concerned local communities, practitioners and stakeholders.

The Philippines has three elements so far inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity; namely the Darangen Epic, Hudhud Chants, and the Punnuk tugging ritual.

The 24-member ICH Committee provides guidance on best practices and makes recommendations on measures for the safeguarding of the ICH. The Philippines has been a member of the Committee since 2016 and will serve until 2019.

The Philippine delegation includes University of the Philippines-Diliman Vice-Chancellor for Community Affairs, Dr. Nestor Castro, Deputy Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, Mr. Jesus Enrique Garcia, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Head for Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts, Ms. Renee Talavera, and UNESCO National Commission for the Philippines, Program Officer for Culture, Ms. Joana Rizza Bagano. END


The Philippine Delegation (L-R: Ms. Renee Talavera of NCCA, Ambassador Lazaro and Deputy Permanent Delegate Hendrik Garcia) discussing with Ambassador Lee Byong Hyun, Chairperson of the 12COM, and Mr. Franceso Bandarin, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture.


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