28 February 2022 – Manila – The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Office for the Arts, Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, through the Australian Embassy in Manila, signed the Executive Programme (EP) of the 1977 Cultural Agreement between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Commonwealth of Australia at the sidelines of the 2nd PH-AU Foreign Ministry Consultations held at the Diamond Hotel, Manila.

Signatories to the document were, on behalf of NCCA Chairman Arsenio J. Lizaso,  H.E. Ma. Hellen De La Vega, Philippine Ambassador to Australia, and H.E. Steven J. Robinson, AO, Australian Ambassador to the Philippines. The Executive Programme reaffirms the commitment of both countries to continue forging initiatives on bilateral programs that will further strengthen both countries’ relations and underscore the role of culture in promoting innovative, inclusive, and resilient creative sectors and communities.

The signing ceremony was followed by a milestone event in the implementation of the Executive Programme, with the official handover of an Igorot steel to the Philippine government and wood axe repatriated by the Australian government. NCCA Executive Director Oscar G. Casaysay, received the valuable artifact in the presence of Hon. Ridwaan Jadwat of the Australian government and Hon. Nathaniel Imperial and other high-level members of the Philippine Delegation of the Department of Foreign Affairs.