Data gathering underway to support Cebu’s bid for classification as UNESCO creative city

By: Cebu, city, creative, DTI, for design, Irene R. Sino Cruz, Melgar, Unesco May 02,2019 - 07:29 PM

Department of Trade and Industry Cebu OIC Esperanza Melgar. /Irene R. Sino Cruz

CEBU CITY, Philippines—The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Cebu provincial office is gathering data to support the bid to become a United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) creative city for the field of design.

“We are now gathering data from other agencies to determine what skills are available here and the existing training centers offering courses that support the creative industries,” said Acting Cebu provincial director Esperanza Melgar.

Cebu will bid for membership in the UNESCO Creative Cities network as creative city for design, now composed of 180 cities from 72 countries. UNESCO has started accepting applications for membership in the Creative Cities network last month until June 30, 2019.

“Being declared as a UNESCO creative city will be promoting Cebu and attract more investments, even help bring in more tourists,” Melgar said.

Cebu boasts of world-renowned designers likeKenneth Cobonpue and Monique Lhuillier.

Designer Kenneth Cobonpue tells the story behind his “Eclipse” rickshaw concept in this March 2015 photo. /CDN File Photo

According to UNESCO, member cities should be representatives of any of the seven creative fields. These are Crafts and Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Media Arts and Music.

Being designated as creative city by UNESCO indicates recognition of the quality, relevance and feasibility of the strategy as well as proposed action plan outlined in the application to implement the objectives of the Network.

Applicants should focus primarily on the chosen creative field from among the seven creative fields covered by the Network.

However, applicants could address other creative fields covered by the Network, highlighting existing and/or potential synergies between them.

Melgar sees bright potential for the design sector, just like animation and other subsectors.

“I know for a fact that in big companies in the US, there are a lot of Filipinos that are employed there,” she said.

In fact, she disclosed that the department has been helping a group of animators, providing venue for their animation workshops to encourage local animators to hone their skills so they could have the opportunity to work for global projects.

“As a support for the industry, the DTI has partnered with the Cebu Animators Guild, which is holding a series of workshops starting May 11 at the Negosyo Center in UP-Lahug,” Melgar said./dcb

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