Makati Ciy – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) successfully conducted the first Creative Industry Summit virtually 16 December 2021. It gathered representatives from key government agencies, including the Design Center of the Philippines (DCP), Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), National Book Development Board (NBDB), National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), and the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) to discuss the progress and realign the preliminary analyses towards establishing the components of the Philippines creative industry.

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez officially opened the Summit, calling for sustained partnerships between government, academe, and industry in advancing the country’s creative 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”.

DTI Undersecretary for Competitiveness and Innovation, Dr. Rafaelita M. Aldaba emphasized the role of the Creative Industry in the country’s growth stating “there is now an opportunity to change the narrative and shape the creative economy to be even more effective in delivering sustainable and inclusive growth. It is critical that we seize this opportunity to unlock the country’s incredible creative potential and avoid leaving key parts of the economy and our country behind.”

The summit focused on the need for establishing the country’s urgent requirement of a data classification and statistical infrastructure that is needed for data-driven direction-setting and strategies needed to establish a robust creative economy. As DTI’s key partner towards developing and compiling the creative industry statistics and data, Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Undersecretary Dr. Claire Dennis S. Mapa conveyed that “The Philippine Statistics Authority is committed to continuing our partnership with the DTI on our initial efforts to define the Philippine creative economy and to measure its contribution to the overall economic performance of the country”. Participants from the government, industry, and academe provided feedback to validate and improve the project methodologies and fine-tune the results and recommendations for the initiatives presented.

Congressman Christopher P. de Venecia, who pioneered the proposal of the Philippine Creative Industries Development Act and the Freelancers Protection Act, reiterated his continued support and commitment to the development of local creatives. He said, “[We] pushed for several measures that all aimed at filling in old loopholes and creating new opportunities for our creative sector… I’m happy to report that we are once again funding several projects and programs for the creative industries in 2022 as spread out through various government agencies.”

The Summit featured simultaneous discussions on the following topics: a) Growing the Digital Highway for ICT-Enabled Creatives, b) Revisiting Philippine Creatives and Cultural Heritage, and c) Accelerating Opportunities in Broadcast and Media Creatives.

Growing the Digital Highway for ICT-Enabled Creatives focused on the importance of revitalization for industries to recover and their potential in generating high-value services and exports using the creative and artistic talent of Filipinos vis-a-vis the emerging trends and technologies. It highlighted that rapid digitalization as well as access to global opportunities in co-production and development projects specifically in game development, animation, software, and design has allowed the Philippines’ service sector to grow and provide employment even in the regions. 

Revisiting Philippine Creatives and Cultural Heritage looked into the history and heritage of the Philippine creatives and the policies and initiatives implemented, especially amid the disruptions of the pandemic. This session also detailed the role of technology in promoting the creative sector.  Lastly, Accelerating Opportunities in Broadcast and Media Creatives reviewed the impact of the various broadcast and media creatives on the Philippine economy and culture, covering the sectors of digital advertising, TV, radio, and print media, book and publishing, film, and music. The session discussed the evolving mediums of communication, from print to digital, in conveying the creativity and ingenuity of the Filipino. It was pointed out that the Philippine broadcast and media creatives need to be innovative and imaginative not only to adapt to the new normal but also to penetrate new markets, both locally and globally.

The DTI and the British Council represented by Regional Arts Director Ms. Manami Yuasa, also launched the “The Innovative Governance in Southeast Asia’s Creative Economy” initiative. The initiative aims to support governments in Southeast Asia to increase intra-governmental collaboration in developing creative economies.

Closing this year’s Summit, Senator Aquilino Pimentel III reiterated the contribution of the creative economy in the new era. He said, “Creative solutions are needed for the challenges of the present. We now enter an era where people need more creative thinking, more problem solving, more innovation, more invention, to create more jobs and generate more income or to simply live more satisfying lives… Let us all place our bets on the Philippine creative industries to bring us to our better future.” The Summit was attended by over 300 participants via Zoom, which was also livestreamed through the official Facebook pages of DTI. ♦

Date of Release: 23 December 2021