For the past three days, the country’s king of comedy “Dolphy” has been trending on Twitter. News of his critical health condition became a worldwide talk of the town with people requesting the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) to bestow upon him the National Artist Award.
According to the guidelines set by the controversial NCCA, the awardee of such honor shall enjoy the following benefits:
The following privileges are provided to those conferred with the Order of National Artists:
- The rank and title of National Artist, as proclaimed by the President of the Philippines;
- The National Artist medallion and citation;
- Lifetime emolument and material and physical benefits comparable in value to those received by the highest officers of the land such as:
- a cash award of One Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100,000.00), net of taxes for living awardees;
- a cash award of Seventy Five Thousand Pesos (P75,000.00), net of taxes for posthumous awardees, payable to legal heir/s;
- a monthly life pension, medical and hospitalization benefits;
- life insurance coverage for Awardees who are still insurable;
- arrangements and expenses for a state funeral;
- a place of honor, in line with protocular precedence, at national state functions, and recognition at cultural events.
The shake-up at the NCCA during the time of President Arroyo damaged the credibility of the organization (back in 2009). But we must also respect this body and Dolphy’s nomination should follow the procedures.
On the other hand, we cannot deny the fact that this should have been awarded to Dolphy several years ago. His contributions to film and television are countless and his achievements deserve to be immortalized.
For me, “Home Along Da Riles,” will always be part of my childhood days.
He deserves it. Confer it, now.
Not for the privileges, but for respect.
“I’m interested. I’m political and I have opinions” – Lady Sybil Crawley (Downton Abbey)
*Photo from http://www.manilatimes.net