Catherine Talavera – The Philippine Star
October 1, 2023 | 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines’ creative industry is expected to post double-digit growth in the next three years, driven by government initiatives to develop the sector, according to an official of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
“The estimates based on our forecast we are seeing is double-digit growth for creative industry in the next three years,” Trade Undersecretary for Competitiveness and Innovation Group Rafaelita Aldaba told reporters on the sidelines of the Philippine Creative Cities and Municipalities Congress.
“Considering all our efforts to really level up, upgrade or to improve the jobs and investments, including all the programs that the DTI implements together with the other government agencies that the mandate is to promote the creative industry, we can do it,” she said.
During her speech at the Congress, Aldaba noted that the creative industry contributed 7.3 percent to the Philippine economy in 2022 valued at P1.6 trillion or an increase of 12 percent from the previous year.
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed there were 6.98 million Filipinos employed in creative industries last year, 10.5 percent higher than the 6.32 million individuals in 2021.
“Creative industries are businesses that can make money from things like art, culture, and innovation,” Aldaba said.
“These industries rely on people’s creativity, skills, and talents to produce unique goods and services and also create jobs and wealth by using intellectual property like copyrights and patents,” she said.
Aldaba noted that the sector also plays a significant role in Philippine trade with creative goods and services amounting to $7 billion which was 6.6 percent of the country’s trade.
She said the Philippines also ranked first in ASEAN in terms of creative services exports.
“All these show that the Philippines’ creative industries are not just about creativity, they are about jobs, businesses, and economic growth. They preserve our cultural heritage and shape our future,” Aldaba said.
“They are vital for our economy contributing significantly to our gross domestic product, creating jobs, and fueling innovation,” she said.
Aldaba shared that they are also working with the PSA to improve data collection in the creative sector as there might be overlaps since the industry is very broad.
“What we’re trying to do now is really to come up with a framework where you’ll be able to estimate, in a more robust way, the contribution of the creative sector,” Aldaba said.
During the same congress, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual emphasized the significant role of local government units (LGUs) in encouraging creative transformation.
“Our cities and communities are the bedrock upon which our society is built. They are the living, breathing embodiments of our collective spirit, culture, and aspirations. Ensuring their flourishing progress in a world in flux is not just a goal—it’s a shared duty that binds us all,” Pascual said.
Pascual stressed that LGUs are important in the country’s growth and prosperity as their respective local participation contributes to the overall growth and resilience of the Philippines. He emphasized that given their proximity to their constituents, their role in fostering an environment that encourages innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustainable development is paramount.
Moreover, Pascual also challenged LGUs to consistently push their limits to achieve higher ranking in the Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI).
The CMCI is an important tool in assessing the competitiveness of localities, providing external stakeholders with valuable insights into the potential of the Philippine cities.
Pascual also encouraged LGUs and policymakers to partake in the development of the Philippines’ creative sector.
“Cities and municipalities are more than just centers of art and culture; they are dynamic hubs that bring together diverse talents, industries, and ideas to drive sustainable development. Let us work hand in hand to transform our cities and municipalities into beacons of progress and prosperity. The time is now to unleash the full potential of our nation and create a brighter future for every Filipino,” Pascual said.