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Youth Heritage Award launched

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The Filipino Heritage Festival Inc. (FHFI), in partnership with the Office of Negros Occidental Third District Rep. Jose Francisco “Kiko” Benitez, recently launched the 2024 Gawad Kabataan Para sa Pamana (Youth for Heritage Award), in line with the celebration of the 20th anniversary of FHFI and National Heritage Month.

The Gawad Kabataan Para sa Pamana award aims to recognize and celebrate the contributions of the youth in heritage conservation, and seeks to inspire and motivate young individuals and groups, by highlighting exemplary youth-led initiatives in preserving and promoting cultural heritage.

The award’s primary objective is to acknowledge and honor the efforts of youth actively engaged in heritage conservation, promotion, and advocacy.

Entries for the award will be evaluated based on the following criteria: Impact (25%), which considers tangible outcomes and impact of the group’s initiatives on heritage conservation or promotion; Innovation (25%), assessing the level of creativity, including the use of technologies or innovative solutions to address heritage conservation challenges; Sustainability (25%), focusing on the long-term sustainability of projects or activities; and Collaboration (25%), evaluating the extent to which the group has collaborated with other stakeholders.

Qualified participants are youth groups from the Third District of Negros Occidental and Bacolod City, endorsed by their respective Local Government Units (LGUs) as participants in the 2023 and 2024 Youth Heritage Forum.

The award will recognize projects and activities initiated between the period from May 20, 2023 to May 31, 2024, in the respective cities and municipalities.

Rep. Benitez, who has been at the forefront of preserving and promoting Filipino cultural heritage, authored R.A. No. 11961, also known as the New Heritage Law, which mandates cultural mapping for LGUs.

According to the press release, the law requires an inventory of cultural practices, artistic traditions, local cuisine, historical sites, structures, artifacts, and handicrafts as a crucial step to strengthening tangible and intangible heritage conservation, cultural education, and tourism.

For the past two decades, FHFI has also been dedicated to preserving and promoting Filipino cultural heritage through various programs and initiatives.

FHFI continues to advocate for the protection and celebration of the Philippines’ rich cultural history, a press statement from the congressional office of Benitez said.*

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