AN ASSESSMENT of international demand will need to be carried out for the Philippine creative industry to compete in those markets, after the sector’s revenue plunged during the pandemic, the Creative Economy Council said.

Paolo Mercado, president of the Creative Economy Council, said the creative industries must invest in global market growth opportunities, prioritizing sectors where they can compete best, and that requires surveying demand.

A competitive creative industry must be provided incentives, investment, and market development support, he said at an event organized by the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AmCham) Tuesday.

“Whether it’s private sector or public sector, there is a need to invest in international studies to understand what the demand out there is,” he said.

Mr. Mercado said that hardest-hit creative industries during the pandemic were cinema-based films, the performing arts, and heritage sites and museums.

Television and radio also suffered, mostly due to the closure of ABS-CBN Corp.’s broadcast operations.

Traditional advertising revenue fell up to 50%, he said, while software, animation, game development and digital advertising revenue declined between 20-30%.

Mr. Mercado said digital creative services, which experienced less disruption in supply and demand, will require more incentives for investment, while advertising, architecture, and broadcast media should be given some leeway by regulators to reconfigure their business models.

“Sometimes they need a bit more flexibility in terms of some government requirements as they’re trying to adapt their businesses,” he said.

Sectors in “survival mode” — performing arts, visual arts, folk arts, newspapers, and museums — will need government assistance in the form of loans.

“If the government purchases creative goods from these sectors, it would help them get through and survive the impact of the prolonged pandemic,” Mr. Mercado said.

Celina Agaton, MapPH founder, called the situation of creatives precarious even before the pandemic.

“Especially for the creative communities, (Filipino creatives) are living in a life-or-death situation in a period of precarity even before the pandemic, and so we’re looking at how to even provide basic essential services to the communities to allow artists to focus on just the good work that they do. And that’s where you need the data to understand mobility and distances from creative communities to the essential services, funding, finance, training that they need.”

AmCham on Tuesday launched its creative industries committee, which will discuss the Philippine Creative Industries Act and the industry’s largest subsectors, including advertising, animation, design, film, and software. — Jenina P. Ibañez