Antique Lone District Rep. Loren Legarda filed House Resolution No. 1435, directing the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and other relevant government agencies to ensure the conservation and preservation of the Antique Rice Terraces of the Iraynon-Bukidnon.
Legarda said that Iraynon-Bukidnon, one of the indigenous peoples’ groups in the province having a rich culture, remain the stewards of the terraces.
Legarda said the idea to make the place a tourist destination in the country defeats its original purpose, which is to conserve and preserve the cultural heritage of the Iraynon-Bukidnon tribe as mandated in the Constitution.
“They are able to keep and practice their unique agricultural practices, which they continue to pass on to the younger generation of their community,” she said.
Under Republic Act No. 10066, the National Heritage Act of 2009, the NCCA and its attached cultural agencies are mandated to “protect, preserve, conserve, and promote the nation’s cultural heritage, its property and histories, and the ethnicity of local communities.”
Antique Rice Terraces, which is located in the central mountain areas in Legarda’s home province, should be protected and preserved for the sake of current and future generations.
Legarda said that its flora and fauna and the cultural heritage therein can be considered as one of the national cultural treasures of the country that deserves conservation and protection of the State.