Survey of the Philippines as a Partnering Country by the Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage

Interview with members of the National Commission of Culture and the Arts
Interior of San Agustin Church, a World Heritage Site
Callao Cave on the northern part of the island of Luzon

 The Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage surveyed the cultural heritage of Myanmar from February 14th to the 25th. The main goal of the survey was to explore current and future developments in international cooperation to preserve cultural heritage in the Philippines by visiting sites firsthand and determining the Philippines’ specific requirements for cooperative efforts. Sites such as churches and houses from the Spanish colonial period as well as prehistoric shell mounds and rock art were visited along with museums and libraries. Survey members gathered information and interviewed relevant personnel.
 Results of the survey indicated that the public needs to be increasingly aware of the need to protect many historic buildings and archaeological sites as cultural heritage. That said, educational institutions involved in protecting cultural heritage are lagging, so personnel need to be promptly trained. Cooperation with local authorities is a key aspect of protecting cultural heritage, and provision of that protection depends on local politics.
 Interviews indicated that the Philippines wishes Japan to help foster academic cooperation between the countries and train Filipino personnel with an eye toward increased public awareness of cultural heritage and cooperation in Asia. Japan needs to capitalize on its previous cooperative efforts in Asia and provide support with an eye toward cooperation with other Asian countries. Such steps are essential to determining ways to protect the cultural heritage of the Philippines.
 The year 2013 is the 40th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation, and Japan is expected to cooperate more with the region. In order to explore the nature of cooperation Japan can provide with regard to preserving cultural heritage, plans are to determine what support Japan can provide while continuing to gather information and coordinate with relevant institutions.

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