MANILA, PHILIPPINES — A new bill has lapsed into law, and it’s good news for creatives all over the Philippines. The Republic Act (RA) No. 11904 or the Philippine Creative Industries Development Act, which seeks to legitimize creative careers in the country and strengthen the frameworks supporting and protecting artists, is now a law.
House Committee on Creative Industry and Performing Arts Chair Pangasinan 4th District Rep. Christopher “Toff” de Venecia sponsored and is the principal author of this law. What the law aims to promote, support, and protect — creatives and the ongoing development of the industry — are things that he’s familiar with as a creative himself. Toff is a writer, director, and producer, and he even founded a performing arts collective, The Sandbox Collective, back in 2014.
“I think, my personal background has a lot to do with my passion for seeing this build through,” Toff told adobo Magazine in a recent exclusive interview, “because it’s not just me, it’s also the people in my life and seeing them struggle and work hard just to make ends meet, yet they don’t have security or opportunity despite the talent and creativity that they possess.”
Under this law, there will be the formation of the Philippine Creative Industries Development Council. This council will be created to guarantee the continuous development of the creative sector so that those who belong in it can reap the benefits of the continuing creation of industry jobs. Comprising the council will be representatives from different parts of the creative sector: audiovisual media, digital interactive media, creative services, design, publishing and printed media, performing arts, visual arts, traditional cultural expressions, and cultural sites.
“There is going to be a whole value chain support for creatives,” Toff explained. “Human resource development, from capacity building to creative education, is touched upon in the bill. The Creative Industry Development Council, which will be charged with creating the plan, will have to take into account how the K-12, technical-vocationals, and higher tertiary education sectors will work in tandem with the creative industries so that the human resources that are being turned out will be employable when they graduate.”
“I wish that future generations of creatives can proudly declare wanting to join the creative industry and not be told by other people that there’s no money in that,” Toff added. “In fact, I want it to be at the level where STEM careers are at, whereupon making that declaration, you get the support and validation that you deserve because of the trail that’s been blazed ahead of these future creatives. Hopefully, this is the kind of world awaiting them.
The law and the Philippine Creative Industries Development Plan that will be created and implemented by the council will be the roadmap to the development of the creative industry. With this new law, one can expect a policy and governance framework that will not only legitimize the sector but will also help it grow to become a globally competitive industry that paves way for better career options for Filipino creatives.