- NCCA admitted that the COVID-19 has a huge effect on the cultural workers and artists in the Philippines
- But they clarified that there is an allotted budget that caters to more than 14,500 cultural workers and artists in 19 sectors
- It was also disclosed that digital platforms are now becoming alternatives to continue the programs of NCCA
During the Laging handa press briefing,National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Executive Director Al Ryan Alejandre admitted that the COVID-19 has a huge effect on the cultural workers and artists in the Philippines. Saying most of them are freelancers and don’t have employer-employee relationships, they are the ones directly affected by the changes.
“Malaki po ang epekto ng COVID-19 sa cultural workers and artists natin sa buong Pilipinas kasi karamihan sa kanila ay freelancers. Walang employer-employee relationships, sila ‘yung direkta na tinatamaan nito.”
He continued saying, “based on our database, around 2, 650 groups; more or less 300 to 400 thousand individuals ‘yon na naapektohan. Nineteen sectors po ang kine-cater natin sa NCCA, napakarami po, may dance, music, architecture, visual arts, and so on. Pati ‘yung mga ITs natin, kailangan natin silang tugunan at kailangan natin silang tutukan. Napakalaking epekto. Maraming gigs ang nawala, maraming events, maraming activities na nawalan ng hanapbuhay ang mga cultural workers”
He also said that there is around P76.8 million allotted budget that could cater to more than 14, 500 cultural workers and artists in 19 sectors. The cash assistance, according to them, will be provided up to the end of the MECQ.
Meanwhile, NCCA Deputy Executive Director Marichu Tellano said that they have already started with the programs that they are bringing to the online platforms like the “heritage month” which is ongoing for the month of May. All activities which is supposed to be done in public spaces are now being done online. She also stressed out that after their program in cash assistance, they will proceed with the redesigning of the different programs of the NCCA.
One of the biggest plans of the NCCA is seeking help from the experts to give orientations and seminars to the artists and cultural workers to help digitize their programs either on education, performances or festivals.
“This June, magkakaron na ng mga series of consultations kung ano ang gagawin sa mga naiwan na programa for 2020,” added Tellano.
Digital platforms, according to her, are becoming alternatives to continue the programs of NCCA, but the challenge is to give capacity for the cultural educators, cultural workers, and artists on how to use it and make it accessible also to the public to continue in promoting the culture and arts.
The NCCA also sees the use of digital platforms as a good opportunity for the artists since most of the people these days are more focused on social media, internet, and cyberspace.
Lastly, Tellano said, “Ang NCCA ay hindi tumitigil sa paggawa ng pamamaraan para patuloy kaming makatulong sa sektor.”