The UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines (UNACOM) organizes the National Online Workshops for the Philippine Participation in the Third Cycle of Periodic Reporting of the World Heritage Convention during the entire month of March 2021.
The first session of the workshop series was virtually held last 2 March 2021. Representatives of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)’s Biodiversity Management Bureau – National Parks Division (DENR-BMB-NPD), and of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) participated in the said workshop. The said agencies serve as the national focal points for both the natural and cultural World Heritage Sites in the country.
The session seeks to identify works that must be done in order to close the gaps that agencies experience in implementing the World Heritage Convention at the national and local levels. The workshop served as a platform to revisit country’s participation to the first two Periodic Reporting Cycles held in 1998 – 2006 and in 2008 – 2015, respectively. It also became an avenue to share the National Focal Points’ reflections, impressions, and concerns on the on-going Cycle. The said agencies also jointly reviewed the submitted Part 1 of the Periodic Reporting.
The meeting was also an opportunity to discuss works related to the updating of the Philippine World Heritage Tentative List. Architect Michael Manalo, the current Chairperson of NCCA’s Sub-commission on Cultural Heritage, stressed the importance of a national strategy which would mainly help define the roles of concerned agencies.
The session closed after a short briefing on the next session of the workshop, which will be joined by the World Heritage site management teams in the country.
The workshop series is part of the country’s effort to fulfill its duties as a State-Party to the said Convention, also formally known as the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. In its Article 29, the said Convention mandates all its State-Parties to submit reports as part of its regular monitoring exercise. Periodic Reporting is one of these mechanisms and is being held every six years.