PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 208
GRANTING CERTAIN PRIVILEGES AND HONORS TO NATIONAL ARTISTS AND CREATING A SPECIAL FUND FOR THE PURPOSE
WHEREAS, the arts and letters are under the patronage of the State, as embodied in the Constitution;
WHEREAS, the arts and letters are truly reflective of the national genius, in the manner that they are given expression by artists who can retrieve, for the nation, what is true and what is beautiful in Philippine culture;
WHEREAS, it is the policy of the Government to grant special privileges to National Artists, in recognition of their contributions to the cultural heritage of the country, as well as in encouragement of a spirit of excellence in the arts and letters;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution as Commander-in-Chief of all the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and pursuant to Proclamation No. 1081 dated September 21, 1972, and General Order No. 1 dated September 22, 1972, and in furtherance of Proclamation No. 1144 dated May 15, 1973, do hereby order and decree:
The following privileges and honors, among others, shall henceforth be made available to National Artists:
1. A cash award of ten thousand pesos (P10,000) upon conferment of the award and decoration of National Artist;
2. A life pension of two thousand pesos (P2,000) payable monthly;
3. Medical and hospitalization benefits;
4. Coverage by a lifetime insurance policy in the amount of fifty thousand pesos (P50,000) by the Government Service Insurance System and/or private insurance companies from date of conferment of the award, in the event 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 place of honor in state functions, national commemoration ceremonies and all other cultural presentations; and
6. A state funeral, the arrangements for and the expenses of which shall be borne by the Government, upon the death of the National Artist.
In addition, the National Artists Awards Committee, composed of the members of the Board of Trustees of the Cultural Center of the Philippines created to administer the Award and Decoration of National Artist under Proclamation No. 1144 dated May 15, 1973, may authorize the disbursement of funds for the travel expenses of National Artists to and from the places where their works of art may be on official exhibition, for the benefit of the Philippine public.
Any person who has been conferred the award and decoration of National Artist shall, as a condition for the retention of such award and decoration, and the privileges and honors decreed hereunder, remain a citizen of the Philippines.
There is hereby created a Special Account in the annual General Appropriations Act, with an initial appropriation of Five Hundred Thousand Pesos which is hereby authorized to be appropriated out of any funds in the National Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to carry out the purposes of this Decree. Thereafter, such sum as may be necessary to replenish said Special Account shall be included in the annual General Appropriation Act.
The National Artists Awards Committee shall make and supervise the disbursement of funds in the Special Account: Provided, That the disbursements shall be subject to audit by the Commission on Audit: And provided, further, That a report of such disbursements shall be submitted to the Office of the President of the Philippines once every six months.
This Decree is hereby made part of the law of the land and shall take effect immediately.
Done in the City of Manila, this 7th day of June, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-three.
(Sgd.) FERDINAND E. MARCOS
By the President:
(Sgd.) ALEJANDRO MELCHOR
Source: Malacañang Records Office