WORLD renowned furniture-designer Kenneth Cobonpue believes that providing a strong support mechanism for local players in the creative industry could “help push the country forward.”
Cobonpue, who is also a chairman of the Regional Development Council in Central Visayas (RDC-7), said that the creative field would be something the Philippines could excel at but that a master plan would be necessary to give the industry a boost.
He said the master plan would be needed to make the industry into the next economic growth driver.
“The master plan would allow the government to optimize the country’s vast pool of talents and the opportunities they could bring,” he said in a presentation before delegates of the recently-concluded 8th Private Sector Representatives National Convention in Panglao, Bohol.
The gathering was organized by the National Economic and Development Authority Central Visayas (NEDA-7).
In a statement released by NEDA-7, Cobonpue was quoted as saying that unlike low-cost services, creativity generates higher value and is more resistant to automation.
Pointing out that this is an area where the Philippines can be good at, he said Filipinos are naturally creative.
“Creativity requires little investment and capital. It is something we should develop,” Cobonpue said.
Of the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, only the Philippines does not have a clear creative economic strategy.
Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand have cities that are part of the Creative Cities Network (CCN) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) defines creative economy as an “emerging concept dealing with the interface between creativity, culture, economics, and technology in a contemporary world dominated by images, sounds, texts, and symbols.”
Creative industries are classified into four: heritage, arts, media, and functional creations.
Pending the formulation of a creative economy master plan, Cobonpue said he and other industry players had formed the Philippine Creative Economy Council to “try to map out strategies for creative industries.”
Other members of the council are the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Board of Investments, and the Design Center of the Philippines.
“Our plan is to make the Philippines among the top five creative economies in the world by 2030 in terms of size and value of the creative industries, as well as the competitiveness/attractiveness of our creative talent pool,” Cobonpue said.
Cobonpue’s advocacy complements the 2017-2022 Philippine Development Plan, which emphasizes the promotion of creative industries, the value and culture of creative excellence and imagination, as well as Filipino creativity.
The 2017-2022 Central Visayas Regional Development Plan also seeks to support creative sector micro, small and medium enterprises, a DTI and Cebu business sector advocacy.
Furthermore, the 2015-2045 Visayas Spatial Development Framework also recognizes the need for boosting the creative economy.
The DTI’s Trade and Investments Promotions Group (TIPG) has identified Cebu, known for being design-centric, as among the Philippine cities that could be in this network.
Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental could tap its strength in literature for it to become part of the CCN.
The TIPG is working on helping at least one Philippine city become part of the CCN by 2018.