MANILA – Speaker Lord Allan Velasco on Monday said the proposed Philippine Creative Industries Development Act would help the country bounce back from the economic woes brought about by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
Velasco made the statement after the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved on final reading House Bill 10107 with 175 affirmative votes, zero negative votes, and no abstention.
He said the landmark legislation aims to organize and institutionalize the Philippine creative economy to provide opportunities to workers in one of the sectors hit hardest by the current health crisis.
"The coronavirus has had an enormous impact on every person and industry in the Philippines, but the creative sector has been uniquely affected by Covid-19. One and a half years into the pandemic, cinemas, theaters and museums remain closed, and music concerts and art festivals are still not allowed," he said.
Citing the 2020 labor market report by the International Labour Organization, Velasco said the arts, entertainment and recreation sector in the country has been identified as a “high-risk sector” or those industries that are least likely to remain operative due to mobility restrictions or are experiencing a decline in demand due to the pandemic.
He said strong governmental support can "change the tide" for the sector and allow the creative industries to reach their full potential.
"As a nation filled with creative and artistically talented people, we never fail to display national pride whenever our fellow Filipinos would gain international recognition in their artistic endeavors. Without government intervention, the creative industries generated around PHP661 billion or 7.34 percent of our GDP (gross domestic product) in 2014," he said.
Under the bill, the Philippine Creative Industries Development Council will be created to ensure the development of the sector that has the potential to drive sustainable development and create inclusive job opportunities.
Velasco said the bill would not only help creative industries recover from the pandemic, but also accelerate their economic growth.
"With this bill -- together with the innate and natural talent of our people -- we foresee the Philippine creative industries being at par with, if not exceeding, the world’s pool of talents in the coming years," he said.
House Committee on Creative Industry and Performing Arts Chair and Pangasinan Rep. Christopher De Venecia said the two notable features of the bill are the sections on the Creative Voucher System and the ecozones to be established where creatives can flourish.
"Through the Creative Vouchers the many artists and creatives practitioners we have can apply for and qualify for support from the national government," De Venecia said.
De Venecia said ecozones for the creative industries would be the "big boost they have been waiting for so they can sustain the Filipino forays into the global scene".
"In ecozones for creatives, more global talents like John Arcilla, Erik Matti, Jaclyn Jose, and Brillante Mendoza can come together to create and collaborate on projects and masterpieces for the whole world to experience," he said.
He said the bill defines creative industries as trades involving persons, whether natural or juridical, that produce cultural, artistic, and innovative goods, products, and services, where such goods and services originate in individual creativity, skill, and talent and have a potential to create wealth and livelihood through the generation and utilization of intellectual property. (PNA)