By ROBERT R. REQUINTINA
IS folk singer Freddie Aguilar really qualified to become chairman of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA)?
For multi-awarded broadcast journalist Boy Abunda, Aguilar is very qualified regardless of the singer’s educational background.
“Noong nag-uumpisa nang pag-usapan si Ka Freddie, na napupusuan siya ng Presidente na mamuno ng NCCA, there were lots of reactions. I respect all your opinions;
“May mga nagsasabing hindi s’ya qualified dahil hindi mataas ang kanyang pinagaralan. But what I don’t appreciate is the condescension. I don’t appreciate ‘yung pang mamaliit. Some of the greatest leaders in the world ay walang mga doctoral degree. Hindi mataas ang kanilang mga pinag-aralan pero for as long as your heart is in the right place and you have the mind of the manager, hire the right people to run the everyday bureaucracy, wag nating tawaran ang kakayahan ng ating kapwa hanggat hindi natin nasusubukan,” said Abunda, on his late-night talk show “Tonight with Boy Abunda” on ABS-CBN.
Aguilar, 63, went to De Guzman Institute of Technology and took up electrical engineering. He did not finish school. Instead, Aguilar pursued a musical career by performing in bars and composing songs.
Netizens have earlier questioned the appointment of Aguilar saying the singer is not yet ready for a government post.
But Abunda said the educational background of Aguilar is not the issue.
Abunda said Aguilar would have a hard time going to the NCCA because the chairman is always voted by the board of commissioners and not appointed by the President. Voting for chairmanship, he added, is governed by a law.
“Walang kapangyarihan ang Pangulo na magtalaga dahil kailangan pa itong pagbotohan ng board of commissioners,” Abunda explained.
President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Aguilar to the NCCA. Aguilar, who composed many popular OPM hits, including “Anak,” is said to be the favorite singer of the President. Aguilar has repeatedly said in interviews that he has accepted the offer of Duterte for the NCCA post.
Current NCCA head composer-conductor Felipe de Leon said that the chairman is not appointive based on Republic Act 7356.
Duterte has yet to make a formal announcement on the appointment of Aguilar to NCCA.
On Facebook, Velez said: “We do not wait. We need to vocalize immediately the artists’ ideology that it cannot be ran by just anybody deemed by the office of the President. It’s a delicate position that entails higher educational background about the arts and particularly high management skilled individual;
“It’s an agency that gives grants to artists! Develop cultural enlightenment and preserve heritage. Ano ang meron kay Freddie Aguilar para ma-qualify s’ya sa posisyon na ’yan?
“While admittedly President Duterte has a soft spot for Freddie, I am afraid the move would be ill advised considering that Freddie lacks the experiential background and management skills for such a position… Just an honest opinion!” Velez said.