MANILA – Pangasinan Rep. Christopher de Venecia on Wednesday vowed to restore the budget of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts for next year to at least this year’s level of PHP156 million.
During the plenary deliberations on the proposed 2023 NCCA budget of PHP25.16 million, de Venecia, chair of the House Committee on Creative Industry and Performing Arts, said he will "fight tooth and nail" to restore the NCCA budget up to at least the current 2022 level.
De Venecia, who is also vice-chair of the House Committee on Appropriations, pointed out that NCCA saw its Department of Budget and Management (DBM) proposed budget slashed by nearly 84 percent for 2023 compared to its 2022 General Appropriations Act funds amounting to PHP156,283,000.
He also defended the budget of the National Library of the Philippines (NLP) of PHP161.122 million, as he urged his colleagues at the House to support the passage of a national charter for the NLP.
He said the current legal bases of the National Library are in the Public Act No. 96 of 1901 and the Public Law Act of 1935 but there are no more recent laws that substantively serve as a charter for the National Library.
He said there are some budget items that did not make it into the DBM-approved budget that need to be restored including: PHP97.6 million for fire suppression and alert system, PHP52 million for a permanent gallery, PHP37 million for children’s service modernization, and PHP40 million for a conservation laboratory. (PNA)