What is the Philippine National Commission for UNESCO (PH NatCom)?





The Philippine National Commission for UNESCO (PH NatCom or UNACOM, as it is otherwise known in the Philippines) was established by law (R.A 621 in 1951, amended by R.A. 892 in 1953 and R.A. 3849 in 1964) to honor the Philippines’ international commitment to UNESCO. PH NatCom’s original mandate was to serve as an advisory and liaison body bridging the work of relevant Philippine partners to UNESCO’s own work in educational, scientific and cultural matters and concerns.

Over the years and in view of the ever-changing contexts of national, regional and international affairs, the role of the PH NatCom has expanded to meet new and increasingly complex needs and challenges. Hence, beyond the advisory and liaison functions crafted in the 1950s, the tasks of PH NatCom grew to include a more active role in the dissemination of public information on UNESCO’s work by the 1960s. By the 1970s, this further evolved to include a role in the formulation of policy feedback. The 1990s eventually saw UNESCO’s thrusts begin to decentralize altogether, so that national commissions became active organizational partners, responsible for defining and expanding their roles in their respective countries.