Partners from the creative sector, our collaborators and stakeholders from the government, industry, and academic institutions, guests…

A pleasant morning to all and welcome to the first Creative Industry Summit!

This year, we have made good progress in pushing the Philippine Creative Industry toward establishing a brighter post-pandemic future. As we celebrate the first Summit today, we hope to provide a better understanding of the importance of the creative industry as one of the key drivers of our economy.

This Summit celebrates the concerted initiatives by DTI and all partner agencies such as the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), National Book Development Board (NBDB), National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP), and the Design Center of the Philippines (DCP). Together, we aim to build up the foundations and baseline assessments of our creative ecosystem. The various projects which will be presented today will showcase the commitments of our national government to institutionalize these foundations and create strategies that will feed our policies and programs and enable progress through a whole- of-society approach. Today, the collaboration of creative minds and talents will carve out our path towards a prosperous and sustainable creative future.

The Philippine Creative sector is large, diverse, and growing. According to the 2017 performance statistics, the minimum value-added contributed by the sector amounted to approximately USD 7.6 billion, or equivalent to 7.12% of the total gross value-added, attributed to its key value-adding activities. Furthermore, our latest estimates projected a total of 5.02 million jobs, partaking in 11.6% of the total national employment. This signifies the continuing creation of jobs and opportunities that the sector contributes to the nation.

The 2021 Global Innovation Index ranks the Philippines 65th in terms of creative outputs. This highlights our momentum towards a more creative and innovative nation. As we strive for improvement, we are globally acknowledged as we maintained our 10th place ranking in terms of goods exports as a percent of total trade. This mimics our trade performance on creative goods with an average growth of 11.3% of total exports from 2015 to 2019. Exports of goods and exports of services were 4.2% and 13.6%, respectively. These numbers simply show the dynamic and overarching potentials of the creative industries in providing opportunities for progress.

In the analysis provided by Tom Flemming Consultancy and TESDA, our local creative industries are seen to have strengths and opportunities, which can be further leveraged. For instance, the sector has a high potential to generate innovative goods and services through the use of advanced technology vis-a-vis the emerging trends. Our prowess in digital animation for films includes works on RPG Metanoia and Saving Sally. On the other hand, our robust skills in game development highlight our local talent in-game art, featuring titles such as Gears of War and Witcher that are recognized worldwide.

Through the creative industry, we have the opportunity to showcase to the world our rich heritage and culture, including world-class and award-winning Filipino talents in several fields encompassing but not limited to literature, performance, digital arts, media, and design.

Despite global recognition and the opportunities for growth however, challenges remain, one of which is the high costs of IP protection especially in technology-intensive industries such as film and game development. This hinders businesses from investing and entering the market.

More importantly, the limited data on the sector hinders a data-driven approach towards policymaking for accurate and effective policies and programs. All these imply that there is still much room for collaboration for solutions in bridging the gaps and addressing issues in the sector.

The creative industries were not spared from the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, revealing the fragility of the sector. As an example, the pandemic halted the operations and delivery of face-to-face and venue-dependent industries such as the performing arts and the visual arts community.

Our local creative industries experienced an estimated 90% revenue loss. Consequently, employment in the sector declined by 55% during the early onset of the lockdown. Also, 61% of firms in the arts and entertainment sector halted operations, 21% of which have closed permanently.

Freelancers suffered an income loss estimated at PHP 268 million and maybe even more. This postulates a very alarming circumstance for the creative sector, given that 75% of our online freelancers in the Philippines are identified to be creative workers.

Despite this, the pandemic has also accelerated paradigm shifts and reinforced some trends, especially in the areas of e-commerce, digital marketing, digital content streaming and many more, which are opening new opportunities for the sector especially for our creative freelancers.

Our creative businesses have capitalized on digital innovation to continue delivering the entertainment and benefits provided by the sector. For example, theatre shows using online platforms to digitally stream their shows to the public. Similarly, local museums and other art events like the Ayala Museum and Art Fair Philippines conducted virtual tours and exhibits to be able to accommodate customers despite the physical restrictions.

The creative industry and the innovation ecosystem are closely linked together, playing a vital role in creating new ideas and turning them into reality. In general, creativity is seen to fuel the innovativeness of industries, permitting competitiveness and growth, among others.
Creative stakeholders have the opportunity to leverage the use of emerging technologies that contribute greatly to the development and competitiveness of the creative industry.

For instance, AR and VR technologies are beneficial in gaming, live events, retail, film, and video entertainment. These advancements allow us to move beyond the limitations brought by social distancing.

The use of blockchain technology, on the other hand, provide creators and businesses with protection and ease of transactions. The emergence of this technology has led to the creation of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), which are revolutionizing how digital art is valued and have even opened up a new business model in the game industry. One common reference is the play-to-earn model, such as the popular Axie Infinity where players can earn in-game resources that are convertible into fiat currency.

Another trend and development in technology that we are currently seeing are geared towards educational technology, highlighting the new forms of digital “edutainment” and new platform concepts and formats that integrate various elements of interactive learning.

With all these innovations and opportunities in the sector, DTI has identified the Creative Industry as one of the important priority industries under the Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy (i3S), which puts innovation at the front and center of our industry development.

Through the i3S, the creative industries can now take advantage of all the market opportunities in overcoming challenges and sustaining inclusive growth through job creation and poverty alleviation.

In facilitating the development of our creative sector, DTI, along with the Department of Tourism (DOT), National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) are working together to coordinate policies and provide support measures to take advantage of the market opportunities and realize the full potential of our creative industries.

The coverage of DTI’s role over the creative industry involves heading the creative domains on digital animation, software development, game development, digital advertising, TV, radio and print media, and toys and characters.

On the other hand, NCCA is responsible for the sectors of gastronomy, performing arts, visual arts, and natural and cultural heritage. The DOST provides for the music industry and is crafting complementary R&D roadmaps for the film, animation and game development sectors, including functional creations and aesthetics. Meanwhile, the DCP, FDCP, and NBDB formulate roadmaps for their mandated sectors of design, film, and books and publishing, respectively.

Apart from our road mapping initiatives, we are currently working on properly assessing the sector’s contribution through the establishment of the Creative Satellite Account and the Dynamic Mapping Framework Project.

Both are designed to provide an evidence-based and data-driven approach to policymaking and program development for the Philippine creative industries.

DTI also provides programs on skills and capacity development comprising the Creative Cities Playbook, aimed to design and develop innovative guides and solutions for local creative cities and enterprises under the Fourth Industrial Revolution and post-pandemic period. Likewise, we are developing skills frameworks focusing on Digital Animation and Game Development, serving as a common reference or language that employers and workers share to ensure a match between jobs and skills.

In a nutshell, these are our strategies and programs to enhance the growth of our creative industries, as you can see in the slide. These programs are focused on providing support for our creative stakeholders, particularly our MSMEs and freelancers. These include the segments on markets and promotions, skills and capacity development, institutional support, R&D, regulations and standards, and industry development.

To create a better policy environment for the creatives, DTI supports and anchors its policy formulation and program development on key legislations beneficial to the creative industry. We strongly express our support for the passage of the Philippine Creative Industries Development Bill (HB 10107) which will form the necessary foundations and support infrastructure for our creative stakeholders; and the Freelancers Protection Bill (SB 1810) that provides and safeguards the rights of our creatives and freelancers. The bill highlights the various privileges of freelancers including protection, access to financial services, among others.

In view of these legislations, we greatly value the efforts of Senator Koko Pimentel and Congressman Toff De Venecia for championing the Philippine Creative Industries Act, both in the Senate and at the House of Representatives.

Before I close, let me highlight three (3) key insights about the Philippine creative sector:

  1. The creative industries provide opportunities towards building the future of Philippine industries enabled by content generation, creation, and innovation. Through this capability, the sector ushers in a more inclusive, sustainable, and resilient growth that does not discriminate in terms of accessibility, financial capacity, educational attainment, and location;
  • We are counting on our cultural richness, ingenuity, and highly skilled human capital as enablers of growth across this industry. The impetus of generating content with added value is made possible by combining creativity with technological expertise. Driven by globalization, our imperatives rest on bridging the digital divide and facilitating increased and seamless accessibility and connectivity, which will result in flourishing businesses for creative products;
  • With the talent and capacity of Filipino creatives, the contribution of the creative industry can be maximized to position the country as a major creative hub in the ASEAN region. This will prime the sector to be the engine of growth that generates employment, investment, and trade. However, we also note the sector’s inclusivity as it accounts for the contribution of MSMEs, the informal sector, and the broader gig economy.

In reaching our goals for the creative sector, we need a healthy collaboration between and among government, industry associations, and academic institutions to strengthen the competitive advantage and unlock the full potential of the creative industry. Nonetheless, the challenge for us policymakers and industry practitioners is to be able to craft a better future where we enable and empower our creative industries with the necessary support and enabling environment that can launch creative ideas and vision into reality.

To end, allow me to express my gratitude to our creative industry champions, the academe, development partners, colleagues, and legislators in the government. Through our continuous collaboration and with more progressive Summits in the future, I am confident that we will be able to reach new heights following the recovery and sustainable development of our creative industry.

Maraming salamat po at mabuhay tayong lahat!

Date of Release: 16 December 2021