CREATIVE industry groups are requesting broader representation in the council proposed under a measure being considered by the Senate which will develop the sector.

The Trade, Commerce, and Entrepreneurship committee on Monday conducted a hearing on Senate Bill No. 411 filed by Senator Maria Imelda Josefa R. Marcos in July 2019, which is calling for a charter to develop and promote the creative industries.

The bill proposes a five-person Creative Industry Development Council to be appointed by the President.

Creative Economy Council of the Philippines President Paolo Mercado said at the hearing that that the bill should be aligned with a substitute bill being considered in the House of Representatives, which proposes a council of 17 people members.

“(The council) is mainly working towards policy and program development. For execution of the program, there is a proposal for a national secretariat… that would be responsible for executing the plans and programs,” he said.

Film Development Council of the Philippines Chair Mary Liza Diño Seguerra asked for the inclusion of various agencies representing the creative sectors.

“For example, the performing arts sector like music, theater and dance (should) be represented by Cultural Center of the Philippines,” she said.

Ms. Marcos said a 17-person council with Cabinet members unable to attend meetings would be inefficient.

“‘Yung gusto sana natin (What we would like is) that this will be an activist and vigorous council rather than one wherein everybody is represented but in the end nothing gets done,” she said.

“We can have a consultative group na malaki (that is large), tapos ‘yung council ‘yung working talaga na pwedeng bumoto (While the council will be the working body that votes on policy) … ‘Yung national secretariat (proposal) is well taken — maganda ‘yun (The secretariat proposal is a good one).”

The council, as proposed, will be in charge of developing a national creative economy plan, creating programs to develop and preserve creative content, helping enforce intellectual property law, supporting creative training, and granting loans for creative startups.

Game Developers Association of the Philippines President Alvin Juban sought representation for the digital sector.

“You have to look back at what actually survived during this pandemic, and this is what can carry our country forward. The only real industry that survived was the people in digital, so in discussions like leadership or placing importance on incentives, I think it will benefit us greatly if we all have to agree that any leader and incentive at this point in time should be centered on people who are digital,” he said.

“To have a non-(information technology) person or group to lead this effort, I think they will just go down.” — Jenina P. Ibañez