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House panel approves bill preserving indigenous games

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The House committee on youth and sports development approved on Tuesday the proposed “Philippine Indigenous Games Preservation Act,” which aims to ensure the preservation of the country’s indigenous games that are integral to our national history and heritage.

The panel chaired by Valenzuela Rep. Eric Martinez endorsed House Bill 3860 for plenary consideration.

The bill, principally authored by Pangasinan Rep. Tyrone Agabas, recognizes the country’s traditional games as the best avenue for self-expression and in promoting peace, harmony, goodwill and camaraderie among the indigenous peoples.

“Part of our rich cultural heritage are indigenous games such as sungka, tumbang preso, piko, sepak takraw and the like,” said Agabas.

The bill mandates the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), in coordination with the Department of Education (DepEd), to initiate measures to preserve the traditional games in the country.

Moreover, the NCCA shall conduct research on the various sports traditionally played by different indigenous groups within their region to ensure the preservation and development of these games.

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), in coordination with the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and the local government units (LGUs), shall conduct annual regional and national indigenous sports competitions.

The host LGU shall have the prerogative to choose the sports events to be included in the indigenous sports competitions.

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