History and Heritage of the Muslim Community
The Office of the President has taken a significant step in recognizing and celebrating the rich history and heritage of the Muslim community in the Philippines. In an administrative order issued on November 7, the creation of the “Situmiayat Wakhamsum Aldhikraa National Committee” (SWANC) was announced.
This committee will play a pivotal role in planning and implementing a series of programs, activities, and projects to commemorate the 650th anniversary of Philippine Muslim History and Heritage.
A Commemorative Journey Begins
The Administrative Order No. 10, spanning five pages, underscores the importance of commemorating the 650th anniversary. Signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, the order emphasizes that SWANC’s mission is to organize, coordinate, and synchronize various programs, projects, and activities for the upcoming commemoration.
It’s a journey that will extend from next year through 2030, showcasing the enduring legacy of Muslim Filipinos in shaping the nation’s history and heritage.
More Than History
Beyond a mere reflection of the past, the commemoration anniversary will have a multi-faceted impact. It will not only promote local and national tourism but also reignite a sense of nationalism in every Filipino. The emphasis is on instilling values for the common good, strengthening the social cohesiveness of the community, and intensifying social awareness.
Leadership and Coordination
The leadership of SWANC is in capable hands. Specifically, the chairman of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) serves as the committee’s chairperson. In addition to the chairperson, the secretary of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos and the chairperson of the Bangsamoro Commission for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage will serve as co-vice chairpersons.
The administrative order also includes a roster of esteemed member agencies. These agencies, including the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of National Defense (DND), Department of Tourism (DOT), and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity (OPAPRU), will play pivotal roles in the successful execution of the commemoration.
The chairperson, co-vice chairpersons, and members of SWANC are empowered to designate their respective alternates, with the rank of Assistant Secretary or higher, who will have full authority to act on their behalf.
The NHCP will serve as the Secretariat of the SWANC, offering technical, administrative, and operational support to the Committee. When needed, the Secretariat may augment its staff with personnel from member agencies, pending authorization from their respective agency heads.
A Comprehensive Plan
SWANC’s primary responsibility is to craft a comprehensive plan for the commemoration of the 650th Anniversary of Philippine Muslim History and Heritage. We will submit this plan to the President for approval within six months of the order’s effectiveness, laying the foundation for a journey that pledges to celebrate, educate, and unite a diverse nation around its shared heritage.