Palace urged to issue National Artist award for Dolphy

As "comedy king" Dolphy remains critical in Makati Medical Center, his supporters are rallying for a National Artist recognition.

Vice President Jejomar Binay has urged President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III to have actor Rodolpho "Dolphy" Quizon, Sr. named as a National Artist.

"Dolphy is an integral part of Philippine entertainment. He was instrumental in the transition of entertainment from the zarzuela through to the silver screen, and as such deserves to be conferred the highest accolade that our nation can give to artists of his caliber," Binay, who's off the Vatican, said in a statement Thursday.

The National Artist Award is the "highest national recognition given to Filipino individuals who have made significant contributions to the development of Philippine arts," according to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

Apart from the prestige and a medal, a National Artist is entitled to material and physical benefits that includes a monthly pension, hospitalization benefits, and arrangements and expenses for a state funeral. For post-humous awardees, legal heirs are entitled to P75,000.

Should Dolphy be officially nominated, his candidacy will still have to undergo several deliberations by the Commissioners of the NCCA and the Board of Trustees of the CCP.

The 83-year-old Dolphy, who starred in hundreds of comedy movies and tv shows, is under observation for several ailments including pneumonia. His kidneys and blood pressure are also being observed.

Malacanang earlier called on the public to pray for Dolphy's immediate recovery.

“We enjoin the Filipino people to pray for Rodolfo Quizon Sr., whom the entire nation fondly knows as ‘Dolphy’. We are united in our intentions for our revered icon of the Philippine entertainment industry. The President’s thoughts are with Mr. Quizon and his loved ones in these trying times,” said presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda.

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