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Newly-appointed National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Chairman Dr. Rene R. Escalante h

When asked about his priorities, Escalante said that he will finish the restoration of the Manila Metropolitan Theater that former chairman Nick Lizazo started. He revealed that his office is considering commercialization of the theatre—at an affordable rate—so it can have a fixed income to cover regular expenses.

As part of maximizing the use of the theater, Escalante will reach out to the new chairperson of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) to know their priorities, and executives of universities in Manila who want to use the Met as a venue for their cultural shows.

Escalante also wants to revise the selection process for National Artists, saying that there are some areas that need to be reviewed. In connection with this, he asked former Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) chairperson Liza Diño to digitize the old films made by or featuring national artists. This will be shown at the Met, as part of going beyond the traditional shows. He also revealed that he is looking forward to talking to new FDCP chairman Tirso Cruz III. In the end, the NCCA chairman invited everyone to support the commission in promoting its programs.

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