DTI pushes development of creative sector

Louella Desiderio – The Philippine Star

October 8, 2021 | 12:00am


MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is pushing for the passage of the proposed Creative Industries Act and Freelancers Protection Act to support recovery and growth of the creative industries.

“We are supporting the Philippine Creative Industries Act together with the Freelancers Protection Act. I think these are twin legislations which are badly needed by the sector,” Trade Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba said during the American Chamber Commerce of the Philippines’ webinar.

The proposed Creative Industries Development Act aims to form a council composed of government agencies and private sector representatives that will craft and implement a plan to promote the growth of the creative industries covering audio and audiovisual media, creative services, cultural sites, design, digital interactive media, performing arts, print and publishing, traditional cultural expressions and visual arts.

The bill was approved on third reading at the House of Representatives last month.

Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, chairman of the committee on trade at the Senate, said the bill is a priority measure.

“We are conscious therefore of the importance to approve the proposed measure this 18th Congress. As a status update, the committee on trade has finalized the committee report. We will be ready to report this out in plenary when the Senate resumes session in November,” he said.

Meanwhile, the proposed Freelancers Protection Act seeks to require the execution of a contract between the freelancer and the client with a payment deadline set for the service.

The House of Representatives likewise approved the proposed Freelancers Protection Act on third reading last March.

Aldaba said the government wants to promote the development of the creative sector as it is considered a significant driver of economic recovery.

She said the creative sector’s value added to the economy was at 7.12 percent or P383 billion in 2017.

As of April this year, she said the sector had 5.02 million workers accounting for 11.6 percent of total employment.

Amid the pandemic, Aldaba said the creative sector was badly affected as it lost 90 percent of revenues last year compared to 2019 based on the projections of the Creative Economy Council of the Philippines.

Despite the impact of the pandemic, there are opportunities through emerging technologies including artificial intelligence that can help support the growth of the creative industries.

“There are emerging trends which can be an opportunity in digital innovation as well as in our digital transformation and we are trying to ensure that the government will be in a position to help our industries transition towards the adoption of these new technologies,” Aldaba said.

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