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Duterte offers free admission to all public parks, galleries under beefed up National Museum law

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President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a bill renaming the “National Museum” and strengthening its duties and functions.

Duterte signed Republic Act 11333 or National Museum of the Philippines Act on April 26, 2019 but a copy of the document was given to reporters on Tuesday (July 16).

The “Pambansang Museum ng Pilipinas” will serve as the primary state institution “for management and development of museums and collections of national scope or significance in the areas of arts, cultural, heritage, and natural history.”

The National Museum will be in the service of the entire national community and not intended for profit.

Free admission will be granted ic in all public museums and national shrines and landmarks.

It will continue to be classified as a national government agency but considered as higher in level than a bureau but lower than a department.

It will have privileges and special rules similar to a government-owned or controlled corporation and a state university or college whenever possible.

The law also provides that the former Congress or Legislative Building, together with the former Department of Finance Building, and former Department of Tourism, originally Agriculture and Commerce Building on the present Agrifina Circle in Rizal Park in the City of Manila will be the permanent and exclusive site of the National Museum and will form the core of the National Museum Complex.

Central museums of the National Museum include the existing National Museum of Fine Arts, National Museum of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, and the National Planetarium.

The National Museum shall maintain its existing regional, area, and site museums and satellite offices.

The National Museum will also be tasked to preserve the former Session Halls of the House of Representatives and the Senate in the former Legislative building as a tribute to the legacy of the great men and women of the Philippine legislature.

As part of Rizal Park in Manila, the National Museum Complex will also be dedicated to the life, work, martyrdom, and memory of Dr. Jose Rizal.

The National Museum is also empowered to formulate a Master Plan and enter into appropriate public-private partnerships concerning property development and management.

In signing the law, Duterte recognizes the policy of the state “to pursue and support the cultural development of the Filipino people through the preservation, enrichment, and dynamic evolution of Filipino national culture.” (PNA)

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