Freddie Aguilar out; Nat’l Artist Virgilio Almario is NCCA chair

Jee Y. Geronimo
Freddie Aguilar out; Nat’l Artist Virgilio Almario is NCCA chair
Singer-songwriter Freddie Aguilar, who campaigned for President Duterte, has lobbied for the post, but National Commission for Culture and the Arts board members elect Almario

MANILA, Philippines – National Artist for Literature and Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) chairperson Virgilio Almario is the new chairperson of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

The commission announced the news on its website on Thursday, January 5.

“Almario was elected for the term 2017 to 2019 and shall lead the NCCA Board of commissioners composed of representatives from the legislative, executive, and the private sectors,” a post on the NCCA website read.

According to Section 9 of Republic Act 7356 – the law which created the NCCA – the chairperson of the commission is elected by a 15-member board of commissioners among themselves.

Before Almario was elected to the post, another name was floated to head the NCCA: veteran singer-songwriter Freddie Aguilar, who worked for President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign, and who expressed strong interest in the post.

Almario is not new to the NCCA. Aside from his membership in the NCCA’s Board of Commissioners, Almario served as the commission’s executive director from 1998 to 2001.

“Chairman Almario continues to champion language and literature as the Chairman of Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino,” the NCCA said. 

The KWF also congratulated Almario on its website: “Pagbati kay Tagapangulo at Pambansang Alagad ng Sining Virgilio S. Almario sa pagkakahirang na Tagapangulo ng Pambansang Komisyon para sa Kultura at mga Sining. Lubos na pasasalamat sa inyong patuloy na paglilingkod sa wika at kulturang Filipino.”

(Congratulations to KWF Chair and  National Artist for Literature Virgilio S. Almario for his election as NCCA chair. We are extremely grateful for your continued service to the Filipino language and culture.)

Other members of the 2017-2019 NCCA Board for Commissioners are:

  • Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV
  • Sorsogon 1st District Representative Evelina Escudero
  • Department of Education Undersecretary Alberto Muyot
  • Department of Tourism Undersecretary Falconi Millar
  • National Historical Commission of the Philippines OIC Chair Rene R. Escalante
  • National Museum Director Jeremy Barns
  • National Library of the Philippines Officer-in-Charge/Assistant Director Yolanda Jacinto
  • National Archives of the Philippines Executive Director Victorino Manalo
  • Cultural Center of the Philippines President Raul Sunico
  • Teddy Co, Commissioner of the Subcommission on the Arts
  • Alphonsus Tesoro, Commissioner of the Subcommission on Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts
  • Orlando Magno, Commissioner of the Subcommission on Cultural Dissemination 
  • NCCA OIC-Executive Director Marichu Tellano

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Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.