Duterte confers National Artist orders to 8 individuals

Published June 16, 2022, 8:23 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

President Duterte has officially conferred the Order of National Artist to eight personalities in Philippine culture and the arts in a ceremony in Malacañang on Thursday, June 16.

President Duterte confers the Order of National Artist to eight individuals in a ceremony in Malacañang on June 16, 2022. This is the second batch of national artist under the Duterte Administration. (RTVM SCreenshot)

The Order of National Artists is awarded to the following:

  1. Nora Aunor (National Artist for Film and Broadcast Arts)
  2. Marilou Diaz-Abaya (deceased; National Artist for Film and Broadcast Arts)
  3. Ricardo “Ricky” Lee (National Artist for Film and Broadcast Arts)
  4. Agnes Locsin (National Artist for Dance)
  5. Salvacion Lim-Higgins (deceased; National Artist for Design)
  6. Gemino Abad (National Artist for Literature),
  7. Fides Cuyugan-Asensio (National Artist for Music)
  8. Antonio “Tony” Mabesa (deceased; National Artist for Theater).

Unlike his usual events, the conferment of the Order of National Artist was not aired live, but a short clip of the ceremony was uploaded to Facebook pages run by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO).

Some National Artists, like Ricky Lee, could personally receive the order. However, veteran actress Nora Aunor did not make the event. Her children, actors Matet and Ian de Leon, received her recognition in her stead.

Singer-actor Marc Abaya likewise received the order for his late mother, Marilou Diaz-Abaya.

The announcement of the National Artists was made through Proclamation No. 1390, signed by President Duterte on June 10. The declaration was upon the joint recommendation of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

The new National Artists is the second batch declared under the leadership of Duterte. So far, the Philippines has 86 national artists.

The National Artist Award, created under Proclamation 1001 and issued on April 27, 1972, is the highest national recognition given to Filipinos who have made significant and outstanding contributions to the development of Philippine arts.

NCCA guidelines approved in 2017 showed that national artists receive a gold-plated medallion minted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and a citation. They also get a life emolument and material and physical benefits comparable to those received by the country’s highest officers.

Living awardees will be given a minimum cash award of P200,000; a monthly life pension worth P50,000; yearly medical and hospitalization benefits; life insurance coverage; a state funeral; and a place of honor in state functions, national commemoration rites, and other cultural presentations.

Meanwhile, the legal heirs of deceased awardees receive a one-time minimum cash award of P150,000.