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National Historical Commission of the Philippines

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National Historical Commission of the Philippines

National Historical Commission
of the Philippines
Abbreviation NHCP
Formation 1933
Chairperson Maria Serena I. Diokno, Ph.D.
This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
the Philippines
NHCP building in Manila.

The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (Filipino: Pambansang Komisyong Pangkasaysayan ng Pilipinas, abbreviated NHCP) is part of the government of the Philippines. Its mission is "the promotion of Philippine history and cultural heritage through research, dissemination, conservation, sites management and heraldry works." As such, it "aims to inculcate awareness and appreciation of the noble deeds and ideals of our heroes and other illustrious Filipinos, to instill pride in the Filipino people and to rekindle the Filipino spirit through the lessons of history."[1]


The present day NHCP was established in 1972 as part of the reorganization of government after President Ferdinand Marcos' declaration of martial law, but the roots of the institute can be traced back to 1933, when the American colonial Insular Government first established the Philippine Historical Research and Markers Committee (PHRMC).[2]

Philippine Historical Research and Markers Committee (1933)

The Philippine Historical Research and Markers Committee was created by U.S. Governor General Frank Murphy, by Executive Order 451, to identify and mark "historic antiquities" in Manila as a first step towards their preservation. The commission's mandate was later expanded to cover the whole of the Philippines.

This first committee was composed of American journalist Walter Robb who served as chair; American Anthropologist H. Otley Beyer who would later be known as the father of Philippine Anthropology; Spanish Jesuit Fr. Miguel Selga, SJ; dean Edward Hyde from the University of the Philippines College of Engineering; and Filipinos Jaime C. de Veyra, Conrado Benitez, and Eulogio “Amang” Rodriguez.

Philippines Historical Committee (1935)

With the establishment of the Philippine Commonwealth in 1935, the PHRMC was replaced by the Philippines Historical Committee (PHC), which took over the functions as its predecessor, as well as the tasks of repairing government-owned antiquities and acquiring antiquities owned by private individuals. There are no known records of the activities of the committee during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines during World War II.

In the postwar reconstruction years the PHC was busy as there was a government interest in "the reconstruction of the past as a means to form nationhood." Reconstituted six months after Philippine independence in 1946, the committee was first placed under the Office of the President, and then transferred to the Department of Education. During this time, it installed over 400 historical markers all over the archipelago; named and renamed various streets, plazas, towns and other public places; and acquired places and relics of heroes.

As the nation rebuilt itself, a number of other historical commissions were also created by law to commemorate the birth centennials of various Philippine heroes of the late 19th century. All of these commissions were eventually merged into one National Heroes Commission. Further restructuring resulted in this becoming the National Historical Commission (NHC), which is a name still sometimes applied to the NHI today. (this is wrong. It was NHC from 1965 to 1972 when the reorganization of the government took place and abolished the NCH, and its place created the National Historical Institute.

National Historical Commission

Created by Republic Act No. 4368, and abolishing (section 6) the Philippine Historical Committee and the National Heroes Commission, which earlier absorbed the Jose Rizal Centennial Commission that was abolished after the completion of the Jose Rizal Birth centennial celebration.

National Historical Institute (1972)

In 1972, President Ferdinand Marcos' declaration of martial law resulted in a reorganization of government and the renaming of the NHC as the National Historical Institute.

National Historical Commission of the Philippines (2010)

On May 12, 2010, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed the law reverting the National Historical Institute into its original form as the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

Current activities

The NHCP still undertakes all the functions of the previous commissions, most notably those of preserving historical sites and structures and serving as lead agency for the commemorations of Independence Day, Rizal Day.

See also


  1. ^ National Historical Institute Website: About Us 
  2. ^  

External links

  • National Historical Institute official website
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