Arts & Leisure

BY Camille M. Arcilla

NCCA denies appointment of musician Freddie Aguilar as head

Posted on July 16, 2016

As rumors fly online that folk singer Freddie Aguilar will be appointed head of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), a top official clarified how one becomes the head of the cultural agency.

"The position of NCCA chairman is not appointive, according to Republic Act 7356. The chairman is elected by the Board of Commissioners. There are four levels of elections -- general assembly, committee membership, committee chairmanship, and head of a subcommission -- before you can be a member of the Board, who will then elect its Chair. The committee members are fiercely independent artists and cultural workers who will always like to choose their own leaders," current NCCA chairman Felipe de Leon told BusinessWorld via text message.

"I think it is better to treat these rumors with skepticism. He might be severely disappointed. Are you sure he will win all five levels of democratic election?" Mr. De Leon said.

He added: "The President has not made any formal announcement that he has appointed Mr. Aguilar. Doing that would be patently illegal. I suppose the President will respect the law."

In an interview with Aksyon Tonite in TV5 on July 14, Mr. Aguilar clarified that he was not asking for a position in the NCCA, instead, he asked the President for the establishment of a Department of Culture and the Arts.

"Ito kasi ang kahilingan ng ating mahal na pangulo natin, habang hinihintay po natin na mabuo yung departamento ay sinabihan po niya ako kung papayag po muna ako kung pamunuan ko ang NCCA (This was the wish of the President. While we're waiting for the creation of Department of Culture and the Arts, he asked me if I would like to head the NCCA)."

BusinessWorld sought the Malacaņang office for comment, but Presidential Communications secretary Martin Andanar said there is "no info yet" on the said matter.