July 26, 2011
Richard A. Ramos
Several government leaders, corporate executives and prominent personalities lauded the first creative industries summit recently held in Cebu, saying that this will further propel Cebu's standing in global competitiveness maximize the skills and resourcefulness of Cebu's creative work pool, and serve as a model example for self-reliance and entrepreneurship in the country.
The summit featured modules on art crafts (handicrafts, festivals); audio visuals (advertising, film, etc.); design (architecture, fashion, etc.); new media (video games, software applications); performing arts (music); publishing (books, web content); and visual arts (paintings, photography).
Provincial Board Member Agnes Magpale said the pioneering landmark could soon reform attitudes from a profit-oriented approach to quality-oriented customer satisfaction as the summit further cements Cebu's brand as a creative hotspot not only in the country but in the region as well.
She singled out Kenneth Cobonpue and Monique Lhuillier as probably the country's most well known furniture designer and fashion couturier respectively, since their body of works have even earned the nod of Hollywood celebrities.
Department of Trade and Industry Regional Director Aster Caberte related that the creative industry will serve as an important engine to sustain the country's endeavors when participating in world commerce and trade since the industry has remained relatively firm during crisis times.
Atty. Ricardo Blancaflor of the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) said that the Philippines ranks second worldwide only to Mexico in terms of employment in the creative sector with over 11.1% employed in the industry.
"This is one of the most dynamic industries and quite crucial for developing industries since there is no need for infrastructure, serves as a rich avenue for wealth and job creation, and inculcates the awareness of intellectual property," he told the summit audience.
Henry Schumacher, executive vice president of the European Chamber Commerrce of the Philippines (ECCP), noted that the driving forces of the creative industry in the Philippines are centered on culture and heritage, comprising five percent of the Gross Development Product.
He also called for the Information Technology (IT) industry to move into the non-voice sector in order to create more employment opportunities for the workforce and maximize the value-added Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) services which currently stands at a mere 30%.
For the near future, Schumacher recommended that a most suitable framework of collaboration and cooperation be selected among the creative industry sectors; the identifications of the lead champions among these sectors the formulation of a Creative Industries Master Plan; and the lobbying for the creation of a government counterpart, the Creative Industries Development Council (Senate Bill 1064).
Finally Nestor Jardin, adviser of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), declared that Cebu's Sinulog Festival is the single biggest creative event in the country, an industry in itself considering the magnitude and scope of its influence not only in Cebu, but on the country as well. Attracting well over two million visitors yearly every third Sunday of January, the multiplier effect reaches staggering proportions starting from the costumes, designers, security, etc. and moving on to transportation accommodations, souvenirs, sales offood and beverages, among others.
Source: Expat Newspaper; Economy & Business; 26 July 2011