Creative sector contributes P53 B to PH economy - DTI

The Philippine creative industries contributed P52.8 billion in terms of gross value-added (GVA) to the domestic economy in the third quarter, up 15.5 percent year-on-year and one of the significant catalyst for the country's growth, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

DTI Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual cited the figure from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) even as he noted that the first Philippine Creative Industries Month (PCIM) organized by DTI in September has markedly  boosted Filipino creatives' growth.

He said the DTI organized 75 PCIM co-branded and co-bannered events, involving over 20,000 creative workers and reaching over one million Filipinos, to raise awareness about the Philippine creative industries and promote the goods and services of Filipino creatives.

Based on the latest economic data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector ranked as the second top-performing economic sector, next to accommodation and food service activities, and outpacing other key industries.

As classified by the PSA, the sector encompasses motion picture production and distribution, animation, radio and television activities, sound recording activities, dance, theatrical, and concert productions, sculpting and painting, sports, museums and galleries, and other entertainment and cultural activities.

Pascual, who is also the chairman of the Philippine Creative Industries Development Council (PCIDC), emphasized the council’s initiatives to coordinate and synergize the country’s plans and programs for the development of the sector, in line with the implementation of the Philippine Creative Industries Development Act (PCIDA).

“To realize the spirit of the law, the council has been implementing the “Malikhaing Pinoy Program (Creative Philippines)” covering various programs that provide infrastructure support, support for R&D, innovation, and digitalization, revitalization of creative education, building of creative cities, exports and investments support, and ease of doing business support for creative businesses, among others,” he said.

Under the program, the DTI has led the conduct of “Fiesta Haraya” or regional creative festivals in various regions nationwide, providing a platform for the country’s regional creative communities to show off and capacitate the best of their local artists and creatives through exhibitions, training sessions, conferences, and more.

Tied in with the celebration of the regional creative festivals, the DTI also launched the Lunsod Lunsad Program towards building more creative cities in recognition of the potential of creative sectors in spurring socio-economic growth in local communities.

This project aims to support and empower local creative talents, promote economic sustainability, and develop the cultural and creative landscapes of our country’s cities.

Early this month, Iloilo City, with support from the DTI and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), was recently named as a UNESCO Creative City for Gastronomy.

Iloilo is the new addition to the two UNESCO-designated creative cities in the Philippines, including the cities of Baguio and Cebu, which were regarded as the ‘Creative City for Crafts and Folk Arts’; and ‘Creative City for Design’ respectively.

Further, the DTI held a ceremonial awarding for Lunsod Lunsad Creative Cities last Oct. 16,  granting up to P3 million funding support to each of over 40 cities selected for their creative proposals and implementation of their projects. 

“Witnessing this remarkable and sustainable growth, we are encouraged that our various policies, programs, and initiatives for the advancement of the creative sector are starting to bear fruit,” Pascual said.

He added that the DTI expects this strong growth momentum to continue up to the last quarter of the year which would be fueled by the increased expenditure for arts, entertainment, and cultural experiences during the holiday season.

For her part, Undersecretary for Competitiveness and Innovation Rafaelita M. Aldaba further stressed that the creative industries' robust growth demonstrates their potential to boost economic growth, create employment, and transform the livelihoods of Filipino creatives, recognizing their vital role in the creative identity.

“I believe that the dedication, passion, and relentless pursuit of excellence of Filipino creatives – combined with strong government support – would catapult the Philippine creative industries into a powerhouse of the Philippine economy in the very near future,” she added.

In addition, the DTI said that it is set to host the Philippine Creative Industries Festival (PCIF) in December, marking the culmination of this year's creative endeavors and honoring the thriving creative landscape in the Philippines.

This event aims to connect the creative industry with the general public and further broaden the knowledge of the public on the Philippine Creative Industries and its potential in driving economic progress.

To fully capture the economic contribution of the creative industries, beyond the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector, the DTI and PSA are closely working together to establish the Creative Industries Satellite Account in the country’s national statistical system.

The satellite account would estimate the direct and indirect economic benefits derived from all the creative work done by the creative content ecosystem players and value chain actors in the economy, according to the DTI.