MANILA—The House Committee on Ways and Means has approved a substitute bill seeking to strengthen the National Museum of the Philippines (NMP), allowing it to fulfill its mandate more effectively.
The committee amended the tax provisions of the bill, allowing the museum to continue to be classified as a national government agency.
This means the museum shall be exempt from payment of taxes, fees and other charges imposed by the government. All donations to the museum, in any form, shall also be exempt from donor's tax.
Importation of scientific, philosophical, historical and cultural books, supplies and materials for the use in the conservation or preservation work of the National Museum shall, likewise, be exempt from customs duties.
The bill also seeks to rename the National Museum as the “National Museum of the Philippines”, or alternatively in Filipino, “Pambansang Museo ng Pilipinas.”
The bill identifies the responsibilities of the National Museum, which includes:
- Establish, manage and develop the National Museum Complex in Rizal Park in Manila, central museums, regional museums, and other facilities;
- Promote the principle of universal access by the public;
- Manage and develop the national collections of the Republic of the Philippines in the areas of science of arts, cultural heritage, and natural history and;
- Carry out permanent research programs combining integrated laboratory and field work in biodiversity, geological history, human origins, pre-historical and historical archaeology, maritime and underwater cultural heritage, ethnology, art, history, immovable, movable and intangible cultural properties, and similar or associated fields.