January 11, 2012

Ifugao Cultural Code outlines policies in protecting cultural heritage

by: Mike Smith
by Dan B. Codamon
LAGAWE, Ifugao, Jan. 11(PIA) -- The Ifugao Cultural Code had proposed several guidelines to protect Ifugao cultural heritage in the conduct of research and documentation by researchers, artists, writers and mass media in an effort also to preserve them inside and outside the community of the Ifugaos.
Among the salient policies of the Code provide that all researchers and institutions are strictly obliged to observe the Free Prior and Informed Consent with the community before entering and conducting any study of the cultural heritage of the Ifugaos and they should submit a research proposal to the community before conducting a study for the purpose of review to avoid cultural destruction.
Researchers, artists and writers are also not allowed to copy, perform and incorporate any kind of elements which are related to the cultural heritage of ifugao without prior informed consent of the community and are not allowed to publish any information or conduct study on Ifugao flora, fauna, microbe or any discovered materials of the Ifugaos without the consent of the community or the identified owner.
It also requires all foreign and local researchers in doing research work within the province to give a copy of their research to the Provincial Government of Ifugao and to the community and to the owner of the cultural heritage where they conducted the study for the purpose of shared custody interpretation of their heritage and they must execute a memorandum of agreement which shall embody the intent and purpose in taking photographs, videos and in publishing their research work.
For all journalists, they must observe the law and respect the privacy of the cultural heritage of the Ifugaos like the traditional religious belief, cultural site and ceremonial activities.
The provincial and municipal government units shall document their cultural heritage including their processes and makers and submit them to the Ifugao Cultural Heritage Office and sustain their sources of raw materials because the Code provides that all cultural properties found in terrestrial or underwater archeological sites in the province belong to the Ifugao people.
The codification of the Ifugao cultural heritage was meant to protect and respect the ownership and custody of indigenous people’s culture that the same heritage must continue to be collective and permanent as prescribed by the customs, rules, and practices of each community and to establish and strengthen cultural institutions such as museums, preserved relics and historic buildings, landmarks and promote and conserve the “muyung” system and other cultural resources
The Code is expected to be finished this year for its public consultation, deliberation by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and eventual enactment as a local law.(DBC/PIA-Ifugao)
Source: Philippine Information Agency (except image)

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