MANILA -- The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) on Thursday announced a P63.8-million fund to support the local arts and culture sector amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement, the NCCA said the amount augments its initial P4-million quick response cash assistance program, which has provided P5,000 each to 1,000 artists and cultural workers who have lost their sources of income due to the enhanced community quarantine.
Of the P63.8-million approved budget, P6.4 million will be used to continue the cash assistance and cover an additional 1,250 beneficiaries from the amelioration program of the Department of Labor and Employment, as well as those endorsed by the Artists Welfare of the Philippines and Film Academy of the Philippines.
The remaining P57.4 million will be used to support committee-driven grants, subsidy programs, online projects, and activities. It will be distributed to NCCA's 19 national committees covering various art forms and cultural disciplines.
The NCCA said the committees get to decide how their respective budgets will be used but these can also be added to the cash assistance program, with a maximum amount of P5,000 for each endorsed and approved beneficiary.
"Ngayon iba na 'yung direction natin, iba 'yung ating approach. Of course hindi rin natin mapag-iwanan ang ating arts and culture sector sa ating new normal dito sa COVID," NCCA executive director Al Ryan Alejandre said in a live video on the commission's Facebook page.
"Kami po sa aming agency sa NCCA, gagawin po namin ang aming mga pamamaraan para matugunan ang sektor [ng arts and culture]," he added. "Huwag kayong mag-alala... we're doing our best para masolusyunan itong problemang ito with the national government."
Registration starts at March 12, 2018, Monday, 1:00 p.m.