The Order of National Artist (ONA) [Orden ng Pambansang Alagad ng Sining] is the highest national recognition given to Filipino individuals who have made significant contributions to the development of Philippine arts.

The Order of National Artist aims to recognize:

a) Filipino artists who have made significant contributions to the cultural heritage of the country;
b) Filipino artistic accomplishment at its highest level and to promote creative expression as significant to the development of a national cultural identity; and
c) Filipino artists who have dedicated their lives to their works to forge new paths and directions for future generations of Filipino artists.

The order is jointly administered by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and conferred by the President of the Philippines upon recommendation by both institutions.

The ONA is one of the Honors conferred by the Republic of the Philippines that embodies the nation’s highest ideals in the humanities and aesthetic expression through the distinct achievements of individual citizens. While the Republic bestows due recognition to these singular achievements, it, in turn, honors its own cultural heritage, whose enrichment these achievements have significantly affected, enhanced, and given direction.


1.1 The Order of National Artist (Orden ng Pambansang Alagad ng Sining) was established under Proclamation No. 1001 dated April 27, 1972 to give appropriate recognition and prestige to Filipinos who have distinguished themselves and made outstanding contributions to Philippine arts and letters. The first award was conferred posthumously later that year to Fernando Amorsolo.

1.2 Proclamation No. 1144 dated May 15, 1973 named the CCP Board of Trustees as the National Artist Awards Committee and Presidential Decree No. 208 issued on June 7, 1973 reiterated the mandate of CCP to administer the National Artist Awards as well as the privileges and honors to National Artists.

1.3 The NCCA was organized under Republic Act No. 7356 dated April 2, 1992 and given broad responsibilities over the development and promotion of the Filipino national culture and the arts, including awards to persons who have significantly contributed to the development and promotion of Philippine culture and the arts.

1.4 Executive Order No. 236 dated September 19, 2003, otherwise known as the Honors Code of the Philippines, conferred additional prestige on the National Artist Award by raising it to the level of a Cultural Order, fourth in precedence among the orders and decorations that comprise the Honors of the Philippines, and equal in rank to the Order of National Scientist and the Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan (GAMABA). The National Artist Award was thereby renamed the Order of National Artist (Orden ng Pambansang Alagad ng Sining).


The following privileges are provided to those conferred with the Order of National Artist:

2.1 The rank and title of National Artist, as proclaimed by the President of the Philippines;

2.2 The National Artist gold-plated medallion minted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and citation;

2.3 A lifetime emolument and material and physical benefits comparable in value to those received by the highest officers of the land such as:

       2.3.1 Living Awardees:

  1. A minimum cash award of Two Hundred Thousand Pesos(PhP200,000.00), net of taxes;
  2. A minimum lifetime personal monthly stipend of Fifty Thousand Pesos (PhP50,000.00);
  3. Medical and Hospitalization benefits not exceeding PhP750,000.00 per year;
  4. Coverage by a life insurance policy by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and or/ private insurance companies from date of conferment the award, in the event that the National Artist is insurable, the premiums for which shall be paid by the National Government or by donation from any governmental or private entities;
  5. A State Funeral, the arrangements for and the expenses of which shall be borne by the Government, upon the death of the National Artist;

2.3.2 Posthumous Awardees:

  1. One-time minimum cash award of One Hundred Fifty Thousand Pesos (PhP150,000.00), net of taxes, payable to the legal heir/s.

3.1 ONA Secretariat – composed of the designated representatives from the NCCA and the CCP primarily;

For the NCCA:
• NCCA Executive Director
• NCCA Commissioner for the Arts
• NCCA Deputy Executive Director

For the CCP:
• CCP President
• CCP Vice President and Artistic Director
• CCP Designated Officer

The ONA Secretariat shall be headed by the NCCA Executive Director and shall be assisted by the Project Coordinators / Staff from the NCCA and CCP as may be identified by the respective agencies.

a) The Secretariat shall plan, organize and undertake the different activities for the implementation of the Order of National Artist.
b) It shall enlist the support and cooperation of private sector experts from the various field of art to ensure that the awards are implemented in a successful and impartial manner.

3.2 Special Research Group – composed of culture and arts researchers with expertise in one or more disciplines and familiar with the works and accomplishments of the nominated artist/s as commissioned and designated by the ONA Secretariat.

a) Shall verify information submitted on nominees and submit a comprehensive folio for the assigned nominee/s.

b) Shall prepare the presentation materials for the nominee/s assigned.

3.3 ONA Council of Experts – composed of a maximum of seven (7) members from each of the eight (8) categories [as enumerated in 5.2] completing the fifty-six (56) selected members, drawn from the pool of expert
recommended by both the NCCA and CCP. They shall be designated and confirmed by the ONA Secretariat Head.

The ONA Council of Experts shall be selected based on the following criteria:

a) Should have achieved authority, credibility and track record in their field(s) of expertise;
b) Should have extensive knowledge of their field(s) and their views on Philippine arts and culture;
c) Should be a recognized authority in the study or research of Philippine arts and culture;
d) Must be willing to sign a non-disclosure statement in order to safeguard the confidentiality of the deliberations.


a) The Council of Experts, as the first deliberation panel, shall review the nominees according to category/ies and submit its recommendations to the Jury of Experts.
b) They shall prepare the justification to support their recommendation.

3.4 ONA Jury of Experts – composed of twenty-four (24) members, a maximum of three (3) representatives from each of the eight (8) categories selected from the pool of experts recommended by the NCCA and CCP and chosen based on the criteria for the selection of the ONA Council of Experts. The members for the Jury of Experts shall be designated and confirmed by the ONA Secretariat Head.


a) The Jury of Experts as the second deliberation panel shall further review and make recommendations on the nominees submitted by the ONA Council of Experts, likewise, will submit its recommendations to the third deliberation panel, that is, the joint NCCA BOC and CCP BOT and the living National Artists for their consideration.
b) They shall prepare the justification supporting their recommendations.

3.5 Any person who is nominated, who is nominating, or is related to a nominee up to the fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity shall not be qualified to be a member of the council or jury.

Likewise, any person may decline to participate in the deliberation for any reason or may be removed for just cause upon recommendation to the NCCA BOC or CCP BOT by at least two thirds (2/3s) of the members; in which case, the ONA Secretariat shall again select the replacements for those who declined or resigned until the first deliberation panel is completed.

3.6 The list of the pool of experts / nominated members of the ONA Council of Experts and Jury of Experts shall be reviewed by the ONA Secretariat as needed, for purposes of adding new members or replacements.


The Order of National Artist shall be given to artists who have met the following criteria:

4.1 Living artists who are Filipino citizens at the time of nomination and at the awarding, as well as those who died after the establishment of the award in 1972 but were Filipino citizens at the time of their death.

4.2 Artists who through the content and form of their works have contributed in building a Filipino sense of nationhood.

4.3 Artists who have pioneered in a mode of creative expression or style, thus, earning distinction and making an impact on succeeding generations of artists.

4.4 Artists who have created a substantial and significant body of works and/or consistently displayed excellence in the practice of their art form thus, enriching artistic expression or style.

4.5 Artists who enjoy broad acceptance through:

4.5.1. Prestigious national and/or international recognition, such as the Gawad CCP para sa Sining, CCP Thirteen Artists Award, and NCCA Haraya Awards (Alab and Dangal)

4.5.2 Critical acclaim and/or reviews of their works

4.5.3 Respect and esteem from peers.


5.1. The National Artist Award Secretariat shall announce the opening of nominations through media releases and letters to qualified organizations.

5.2. Candidates may be nominated under one category where the artist made his/her most significant contribution, but his/her other merits will be added in the citation. Categories are:

5.2.1. Dance – choreography, direction, performance

5.2.2. Music – composition, direction, performance

5.2.3. Theater – direction, performance, production design, light and sound
design, playwriting

5.2.4. Visual Arts – painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, installation art, mixed media works, illustration, graphic arts, performance art, imaging

5.2.5. Literature – poetry, fiction, essay, literary/art criticism

5.2.6. Film and Broadcast Arts – direction, writing, production design, cinematography, editing, animation, performance, new media

5.2.7. Architecture and Allied Arts – architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, urban design

5.2.8. Design – industrial design, fashion design

5.3. Nominations for the Order of National Artist may be submitted by government and non-government cultural organizations and educational institutions, as well as private foundations and councils.

5.4. Members of the Special Research Group, NCCA and CCP shall not submit nominations.

5.5. Members of the NCCA-BOC and CCP-BOT, as well as the NCCA and CCP consultants, officers and staff, and the NCCA National Committee members, are automatically disqualified from being nominated.

5.6. Nominations shall be accepted only when these are submitted in writing and with proper supporting documentation, as follows:

5.6.1. A cover letter signed by the head or designated representative of the nominating organization.

The cover letter shall be accompanied by a Board Resolution
approving the nominee concerned with the said resolution signed
by the organization President and duly certified by the Board

5.6.2. A duly accomplished nomination form;

5.6.3. A detailed curriculum vitae of the nominee including address and contact details;

5.6.4. A list of the nominee’s significant works categorized according to the criteria;

5.6.5. The latest photograph (color or black and white) of the nominee, either 5” x 7” or 8” x 11”;

5.6.6. Pertinent information materials on the nominee’s significant works (on CDs, VCDs and DVDs);

5.6.7. Copies of published reviews;

5.6.8. Any other document that may be required.

5.7. Nominations received beyond the announced deadline for the submission of nominations shall not be considered.

5.8. All inquiries and nominations shall be submitted to:

Office of the Artistic Director
Cultural Center of the Philippines
Roxas Boulevard, 1300 Pasay City
Office of the Executive Director
National Commission for Culture and the Arts
NCCA Building, 633 General Luna Street, Intramuros 1002 Manila


6.1. Prior to the First Deliberation, the ONA Secretariat shall pre-screen the nominees based on technical guideline items 5.6.1, 5.6.2, 5.6.3, 5.6.4, 5.6.5, 5.6.6, 5.6.7 and 5.6.8. Letters of recommendation will not be included in the evaluation.

6.2. The ONA Secretariat will meet to review the list of nominees as an oversight function on inadvertent omissions, etc. Consequently, deserving nominees may be added to the list by the ONA Secretariat.

6.3. The Special Research Group shall accomplish its task within six (6) months. The main objective is to verify the validity of the data and evaluate the quality, true value and significance of works according to the criteria. It shall come up with the updated and comprehensive profiles of nominees reflecting their most outstanding achievements. The research output/documentation/ validation shall be submitted to the ONA Secretariat.

6.4. The First Deliberation panel composed of the ONA Council of Experts shall be intra-disciplinary. The panelists shall be grouped according to their respective fields of expertise or disciplines to shortlist the nominees in their disciplines or categories for presentation to the second deliberation panel.

6.5. The voting during the second deliberation panel shall be across disciplines by the ONA Jury of Experts that are composed of a maximum of three (3) members from each of the eight (8) categories.

6.6. The third deliberation panel shall be composed of the joint Board of Commissioners (BOC) of the NCCA, and the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the CCP together with the living National Artists, provided that the number of present National Artists shall not constitute more than fifty percent (50%) of the total number of NCCA BOC and CCP BOT present in the third deliberation, to which the recommendations from the Second Deliberation Panel shall be presented for final selection. Provided further, that should the number of National Artists exceed 50% of the total number of NCCA BOC and CCP BOT present in the third deliberation, the National Artists who shall participate in the third deliberation shall be selected based on seniority in accordance with the date of their proclamation as National Artist. The two Boards, as well as the invited National Artists, cannot add to the submitted list. The presenters shall prepare their presentation in writing together with an audio-visual presentation.

6.7. Proxy votes will not be allowed in the Selection Process. Designation of permanent representatives of agencies should be made at the outset to make them regular Board members of NCCA and CCP and thus, may be allowed to cast votes.

6.8. The list of final nominees shall be submitted to the President of the Republic of the Philippines for confirmation, proclamation, and conferral in accordance to the Supreme Court Ruling G.R. 189028.


7.1. The selection and conferment of the National Artists shall take place every three (3) years.

7.2. The Order of National Artist shall be conferred by the President of the Philippines on June 11 or any appropriate date in fitting ceremonies to be organized by the ONA Secretariat.

7.3. The medallion of the Order of National Artist and citation shall be given to the awardee during the conferment ceremony. The cash award of PhP200,000.00 in cheque shall be given immediately after the ceremony or at another time and place as requested by the awardee.

7.4. A posthumous conferral consisting of the medallion and citation shall be given to the family or legal heir/s of the awardee. The cash award of PhP150,000.00 in cheque shall be given to the awardees’ legal heir/s or a representative
designated by the family immediately after the ceremony or at another time and place as requested by the family.

Download: Order of National Artist Guidelines (pdf, 201 KB).

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