The community lockdown measures brought about by the pandemic has put to stop operations of museums in the country, resulting in museum workers struggling to survive.

Grupo Kalinangan, a non-government organization involved in heritage conservation, launched a fundraising campaign Ayuda Para sa Pamana, which aims to provide assistance to affected cultural workers and local Philippine museums affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many of our cultural workers in the Philippines, as well as several museums, galleries, libraries and archives that were shut down. It is not yet certain as to when museums will reopen and work for our cultural workers will resume,” according to Grupo Kalinangan.

“Our goal for this fundraiser is to provide assistance to local Philippine museums and cultural workers who were affected and displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Ayuda Para sa Pamana aims to raise Php 250,000.00 by the end of the fundraising campaign.

Funds raised will benefit the following local Philippine museums:

  • The Negros Museum (Bacolod City, Negros Occidental)
  • BIPSU Museum (Biliran Provincial State University, Naval, Biliran)
  • Hofileña Museum (Silay City, Negros Occidental)
  • D’Bone Collector Museum (Davao City)
  • Boljoon Parish Museum (Boljoon, Cebu)
  • Bantayan Parish Museum (Bantayan, Cebu)
  • Philippine-Japan Historical Museum (Davao City)
  • Upside Down Museum (CCP Complex, Pasay City)
  • Museo Iloilo (Ilo-ilo City)
  • Balangiga Encounter Museum (Balangiga, Eastern Samar)
  • Blanco Family Museum (Angono, Rizal)
  • Malagos Chocolate Museum (Davao City)
  • Museo de Mariposa (Davao City)

The beneficiaries will receive financial support for museum operations, staff salaries and allowances, museum rehabilitation and capacity building for digital museum experiences.

A survey of 133 private and government-run museums in the country was initiated by the National Committee on Museums (NCOM)  of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts to determine the situation of Philippine museums amidst restrictions in place due to the pandemic. 

Most museums have suffered budget cuts and income losses during the pandemic, due mainly to loss of visitors, according to Dr. Jobers Bersales, head of NCOM. For museums run by the national or local governments, most of their budget was realigned to COVID-19 response and relief efforts.

Around 25% of the museums that took the survey indicated that they have no online presence, whether through a website or social media channels. Meanwhile, only a few of these museums had been and are currently providing online services, such as virtual tours and online exhibitions.

At least four respondents indicated that they may not be able to resume operations after the pandemic.

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