BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES
ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 23
CREATING A STEERING COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL OBSERVANCES
WHEREAS, Article XIV, Section 16 of the 1987 Constitution provides that “all the country’s artistic and historic wealth constitutes the cultural treasure of the nation and shall be under the protection of the State which may regulate its disposition;”
WHEREAS, memories of historic events that shaped the nation constitute the soul of a people, giving meaning to their collective life and aspirations;
WHEREAS, Republic Act (R.A.) No. 10086 mandates the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) to determine all factual matters relating to official Philippine history as well as develop and implement educational materials in various media for the popularization of Philippine history;
WHEREAS, every year the NHCP initiates, through separate presidential issuances, the organization and implementation by different inter-agency committees of national observances to celebrate important events and honor key historic figures;
WHEREAS, a single directive creating a permanent planning committee will facilitate the necessary preparation and implementation, and dispense with repetitive presidential orders year to year; and
WHEREAS, the Revised Administrative Code of 1987 empowers the President of the Philippines with the continuing authority to reorganize the Executive Department.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BENIGNO S. AQUINO III, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby order:
SECTION 1. Creation of the Committee. A Steering Committee on National Observances shall be established to plan, organize, and undertake the commemoration of selected historical events.
SECTION 2. Composition. The Committee shall be chaired by the Chairperson of the NHCP and composed of officers from the following department or agencies with a rank not lower than Assistant Secretary, duly authorized to represent their respective Secretaries:
a. Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG);
b. Department of Education (DepEd); and
c. Department of Tourism (DOT).
The Committee may also invite other government agencies, which it deems necessary, according to the thrust and requirements of each commemoration.
SECTION 3. Coverage. The Committee shall take charge of the following national celebrations:
a. Araw ng Kagitingan;
b. Independence Day;
c. National Heroes Day;
d. Bonifacio Day;
e. Rizal Day; and
f. Other historical celebrations in accordance with existing laws, rules and regulations.
SECTION 4. Power and Functions. The Committee shall have the following powers and functions:
a. Formulate, organize and prescribe the manner of yearly celebrations of historical events;
b. Draw up a mechanism among various national departments, local government units, and the private sector for effective mobilization and coordination of commemorative programs;
c. Monitor, evaluate and submit quarterly reports to the President on all programs of the Committee; and
d. Perform such other powers and functions as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Administrative Order.
SECTION 5. Assistance and Cooperation. All other government agencies are hereby directed to cooperate with and fully support the activities of the Committee.
SECTION 6. Funding. The Committee shall operate under the existing budget of the NHCP, except for the commemoration of the Araw ng Kagitingan, which shall be charged against the funds of the Department of National Defense (DND). Any deficiency shall be charged against the regular budget of the participating agencies.
SECTION 7. Separability Clause. If any provision of this Administrative Order is declared invalid or unconstitutional, the other provisions not affected thereby shall remain valid and subsisting.
SECTION 8. Repealing Clause. All orders, rules, regulations, and issuances, or parts thereof, which are inconsistent with this Administrative Order, are hereby repealed, amended, or modified accordingly.
SECTION 9. Effectivity. This Administrative Order shall take effect immediately.
DONE in the City of Manila this 10th day of November, in the year of our Lord Two Thousand and Eleven.
(Sgd.) BENIGNO S. AQUINO III
By the President:
(Sgd.) PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR.