BOTH CHAMBERS of Congress ratified the bicameral report of a bill seeking to promote the creative industries by designating the Philippine Creative Industry Development Council to oversee the sector’s development.

The consolidated version of Senate Bill 2455 and House bill 10107, the proposed Act Providing for the Development and Promotion of the Philippine Creative Industries, adopted the House version as the working draft. 

“The versions of this legislation passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives work in unison to establish the Creative Industry Development Council, mandated to implement a long-term plan for the development and promotion of the Philippine creative industries with programs aimed at creating opportunities and employment, nurturing human resources, ensuring financial enabling mechanisms, and providing incentives to encourage and sustain Filipino excellence in the creative industries,” Senator Aquilino L. Pimentel III, the primary sponsor of the bill, said during his plenary speech late on Monday.

The reconciled version authorizes the Creative Workers Welfare Standing Committee to ensure that creative freelancers and workers have access to “sustainable and dignified work in the creative industries.”

A secretariat for the council was also established within the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to be headed by an executive director and assisted by two deputy executive directors. The secretariat staff will consist of at least 10 officers and employees.

If passed, a Philippine Creative Cities Network (PCCN) will be a permanent project of the council to ensure mutual support, exchange of ideas and collaboration among cities.

“The PCCN is envisioned (to help) cities that want to explore their creative resources and opportunities for growth in the creative field and to accelerate cities that are emerging as creative cities towards accreditation by the UNESCO to form part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network,” Mr. Pimentel said.

The council membership was set at 19 members — 10 from various government agencies and nine from the private sector.

The bill, if signed, will establish the infrastructure, including research and development and innovation support for the creative industry.

Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and other stakeholders will also be granted access to digital services and digital training platforms, along with technical and financial assistance.

Government-owned, controlled, or supported financial institutions will be required to prioritize creative industries in the provision of credit assistance and guarantee schemes. A creative voucher system will be established to systematize the granting of support, aid, and entities.

Creative industries covered by the bill include audio and audiovisual media; digital interactive media; creative services; design; publishing and printed media; performing arts; visual arts; traditional cultural expressions; and cultural sites. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan