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We passed the law—now what?

By ESME PALAGANAS, The Philippine STAR Published Dec 19, 2022 5:00 am

Aside from the global pandemic that changed the landscape of ways of doing business, 2020 proved to be a pivotal year for future-proofing Philippine creative industries.

For multiple months over Zoom, Congress hearings and technical working groups were organized in aid of refining the Philippine Creative Industries Development Bill. And as of July 27, 2022, two years after initial discussions, the Bill has lapsed into Law that promises support for the Philippine Creative Industries.

Mandated by the Republic Act 11904, or the Philippine Creative Industries Development Act (PCIDA), September 2022 marked the first celebration of the Philippine Creative Industries Month. But what is it really all about?

Below is a rundown of what the Act promises followed by insights from sector representatives present during congressional hearings and a legislative member of the Arts, Culture and Creative Industries Bloc (ACCIB) of the 19th Congress.

An Overview

The PCIDA legislation will create an enabling environment to legitimize creative work as a viable career path for the current and future Filipino creatives.

What’s in the law?

The Creation of the Philippine Creative Industries Development Council is mandated to implement a long-term plan for the development and promotion of the Philippine Creative Industries.

The private sector is part of the Planning and Policy Formulation, with nine private sector council representatives for each of the following domains: Audiovisual, Digital Media, Creative Services, Design, Publishing and Print Media, Performing Arts, Visual Arts, Traditional Expressions and Cultural sites. An executive director will manage the affairs of the council such as annual budgets and projects.

  • Private sector participation: Aside from council seats, the law encourages the private sector to participate through business support organizations (BSO) and creative workers associations (CWA) to create a mechanism of continuing dialogue with the government. RA 11904 has been shaped by the multiple consultations across BSOs/representatives from different industries: a concrete result of private sector participation.
  • Creative industries marketing and promotion is needed to meet the goals of the Republic Act for the development and sustainability of the creative industries. Examples: creative festivals and exhibitions with the support of relevant government agencies such as the DOT in integrating the creative industries in the national Tourism plan.
  • Capacity-building with government support: The Act emphasizes the importance to Intellectual Property Rights of creatives; DepEd, CHED, TESDA, PSA and other relevant government agencies will be part of these discussions.
  • Budgets for the development of the Philippine creative industries: The budget for the council will be included in the General Appropriations Act—as taxpayers, this is an important detail. The council has the responsibility to produce three-year, six-year and 10-year development plans.

  • Creative industry data and information: For further policy implementation, the council will need to work closely with the PSA for effective data collection and industry management.
  •  One-Stop Registration Center and Philippine Creative Cities Network: These two points are promised to be set up to aid creative businesses through local government unit support.

The team behind the scenes

BJ Abesamis (Design), partner and head of design consultancy at And a Half Design Studio

What are you looking forward to?

I’m excited about the infrastructure support such as providing spaces for creative professionals to do their work. Capacity-building is key as creative sectors grow in scale and variety. Layers of different skills will enable new ideas to flourish like availability of local printing techniques in the visual arts or large-scale production of local fabrics. The fact that the industry will now be recognized as an important contributor to our GDP will create ripples of opportunities and respect for generations of Filipinos who will devote themselves to the pursuit of creativity.

What do we have to watch out for?

Implementation. What should people in the creative industry know about this bill and how will they know about it? How can people proactively apply for certain opportunities applicable to their trade? If there are subsidies or tax breaks, how can people use this to their advantage to benefit the whole Philippines?

Magoo del Mundo (Creative Content), co-founder and former president of SIKAP, regional head for SEA at Stardust

What are you looking forward to?

Finally there is a law that supports and protects creators and creatives in the Philippines. It’s a very good and strong first step towards a stable and dynamic creative industry for the Philippines. If I had to single out one beautiful part of this act, it would be the support for the development of original content in the animation, games and comics sectors.

What do we have to watch out for?

My hope is that we will see a surge in original creative content made by Filipinos both locally and internationally; that there will also be growth in the appreciation, support and protection of our local creative IPs.

Dindin Araneta (Visual Arts), Arts Management at De La Salle-College of St. Benilde, Visual Arts Committee of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts

What are you looking forward to?

I am excited by the Philippines Creative Development Act because it is a milestone in Philippine legislation. It identifies support for infrastructure and facilities, research and development, innovation, digitalization, investments, access to credit and financial instruments, and creative instruction and education. These could generate jobs for graduates of the program.

What do we have to watch out for?

Something to look forward to are the plans and programs to be rolled out by the Creative Industries Council. Congressman Toff de Venecia and his team are responsible for the passage of this Republic Act. During the lockdown, they undertook exhaustive consultations with hundreds of individuals to understand the needs and concerns of the creative domains.

Rep. Arjo Atayde (Policy, Entertainment)
1st District, Quezon City, House of Representatives, vice chairperson, House Special Committee on Creative Industry and Performing Arts

Why are you excited?

I am particularly excited with how the law establishes a Philippine Creative Industries Development Council (PCIDC), which I believe will give the creative industry a louder voice in the formulations of policies, plans and programs that can benefit the industry. The industry representatives know what their respective sectors require, and having them on the PCIDC will allow them to share these valuable insights with government policymakers.

What do we have to watch out for?

I believe that with this law we should all think big; we know that Bollywood and the Korean film industry have thrived because of their governments’ support, so we should work to do the same here. Our talent is already world-class, and with this law, we should be able to better expose it to a worldwide audience. The law, of course, is only the beginning. A law is only as good as the people involved in its implementation, so the government and industry have to work together to make the most out of the opportunities PCIDA will provide us.

That is going to be something we will be focusing on in the Committee on Creative Industry and Performing Arts, and I look forward to working with our talented, idealistic and committed partners in government and in the industry so that we can create great art while generating economic and livelihood opportunities for our people.

Carmina Sanchez Jacob (Fashion and Design) vice president and founding board member, Philippine Fashion Coalition

Why are you excited?

I am most excited to see how we can have a hand in the future development and protection of creatives in our country. It is inspiring to know that in our little way, we can help shape and map out a creatively centered Philippine economy. I am excited to see how the move to also become digitally adept in many creative applications will impact the opportunities we have as professionals and as a people.

What do we have to watch out for?

The actual policies that will truly enable creatives to progress in their respective fields—intellectual property protection and exponential job growth through new and relevant skills that we can support educationally and even hopefuĺly, financially, through investments and the like.

Carl Chavez (Film), filmmaker/content marketer

Why are you excited?

Finally, our lawmakers acknowledge the presence and the contribution of the creative economy here in the Philippines. With our many achievements and successes in our respective sectors it is important to have a law that really promotes, protects and strengthens the different creative industries in the Philippines. I’m looking forward to programs and policies that will also protect the rights and welfare of the workers in the creative industries.

What do we have to watch out for?

Now that the Republic Act has passed, we need to ensure that for every development and implementation, no one will get left behind.