HOUSE Bill 10107, or the Philippine Creative Industries Development Act, 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.”

It also defined the creative industry domains as the following: audiovisual media, digital interactive media, creative services, design, publishing, and printed media, performing arts, visual arts, traditional cultural expressions, and cultural sites.

Section 3 of the measure mandates the creation of the Philippine Creative Industry Development Council which will be attached to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The Council will be composed of 17 members: nine regular members from the private sector who will represent each creative industry domain, and eight ex officio members from government agencies — the Departments of Education (DepEd), Science and Technology, Tourism, Information and Communications Technology, and of Trade and Industry; the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines, and Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

The nine private sector representatives must be nominated by private sector groups to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through valid endorsement letters signed or attested to by the group’s members and/or officers. The DTI will then create a shortlist from which the President of the Philippines will appoint the private sector representatives in the Council.

The obligations of the Council include defining each creative industry’s economic goals and performance monitoring, and maintaining a database about the sector.

Among its functions, the private sector representatives shall oversee the promotion, distribution, and export of the creatives’ outputs, protection of their intellectual property, endorsement to the DTI of prospective multi- and bi-lateral international trade agreements, and the issuance of guidelines and criteria in identifying the persons and stakeholders for aid from the State in times of national emergency.

Under Sec. 5, the creation of a Creative Workers’ Welfare Committee which is a standing committee attached to the Council which “shall ensure that creative freelancers and creative workers have access to sustainable and dignified livelihood in the creative industries.”

“The Creative Industries in the bill are defined broadly enough to cover all workers and freelancers in the sector. Thus, all the programs institutionalized in the bill are envisioned to benefit them as well,” the bill’s backer, Pangasinan 4th District Rep. Christopher “Toff” de Venecia, said in an e-mail to BusinessWorld.

“It should be noted though that most of the programs in the bill are reserved for members of business support organizations and/or creative workers associations. This means that freelancers and workers must belong to at least one creative organization to receive the proposed benefits and incentives,” he explained. “This was an intentional principle behind the bill since the authors believe that creative stakeholders must band together in groups for purposes of representation, mutual aid, and enjoying other forms of support.”

Meanwhile, Sec. 18 states the establishment of a Creative Educational Plan by the National Government Agencies such as the DepEd, CHED, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) for education, scholarships, and technical skill development programs in the arts and creative sectors.

Through the House Bill’s The Creative Industry Development Fund, Special Account in the General Fund with the National Treasury shall be established. Referred to as the Fund, it is for the purpose of for research and development, marketing and trade promotion, human resource development, programs for the welfare of artists, workers and other stakeholders through accredited business support organizations and creative workers associations.

An appropriation of P5 billion in the House Bill’s earlier drafts was removed and its budget will be allotted in accordance with the annual General Appropriations Act to ensure that the programs in the measure have a legal basis for funding.

“As an attached office to the DTI, the Council will be given its chance to propose its annual budget to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for inclusion in the National Expenditure Program, and then to lobby to Congress during budget deliberations,” Mr. De Venecia said. — MAPS