Imaginative way to development: Creative economy’s share to GDP hits P1.60 trillion
MANILA, Philippines—With P1.60 trillion, the creative economy in the Philippines contributed 7.3 percent to the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2022, representing an increase of 12.1 percent from P1.43 trillion in 2021.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said the creative economy is composed of industries like audio and audiovisual media activities, digital interactive goods and service activities, advertising, research and development, and other artistic service activities.
Likewise included are symbols and images, media publishing and printing, music, arts and entertainment, visual arts, traditional cultural expression, and art galleries, museums, ballrooms, conventions and trade shows.
Back in 2020, the year the COVID-19 crisis started putting the economy at a standstill, the creative economy had a share of 7.4 percent, or 1.34 trillion, to GDP. In 2019 and 2018, the creative economy contributed P1.47 trillion and 1.37 trillion, or a share of 7.5 percent.
According to the PSA, of all the creative industries, symbols and images had the highest share of 32.9 percent, or P528.35 billion, to the creative economy in 2022, higher by 10 percent than the P480.41 billion in 2021.
Based on PSA data, symbols and images have had the highest contribution to the creative economy since 2018—P469.28 billion in 2018, P498.16 billion in 2019, and P450.04 billion in 2020.
This year, advertising, research and development, and other artistic service came second, contributing 20.8 percent, or P333.93 billion, while digital interactive goods and service had a share of 20.3 percent, or P325.44 billion.
As revealed by the PSA, in 2021, 2020, 2019, and 2018, advertising, research and development, and other artistic services contributed P287.01 billion, P264.68 billion, P295.85 billion, and 272.74 billion.
Digital interactive goods and service, meanwhile, had a share of P287.03 billion in 2021, P270.46 billion in 2020, P289.01 billion in 2019, and P267.49 billion in 2018, the PSA said.
Based on PSA data, there were 6.98 million Filipinos employed in creative industries in 2022, higher by 10.5 percent from 6.32 million in 2021. Back in 2020, 2019 and 2018, there were 5.52 million, 6.35 million, and 6.19 million Filipinos employed in creative industries.
At 42.5 percent, employment in traditional cultural expression recorded the highest share. In the past four years, it likewise had the highest number of employed Filipino creatives: 41.4 percent in 2021, 42.9 percent in 2020, 43.8 percent in 2019, and 45.2 percent in 2018.
Next to traditional cultural expression was symbols and images, which had 24.8 percent of all Filipinos employed in the creative economy. Advertising, research and development, and artistic service, meanwhile, employed 18 percent.
Out of all the nine creative industries listed by the PSA, music, arts and entertainment had the least number of employed Filipino creatives at 0.7 percent, the same as in 2021, 2020, and 2019. Back in 2018, the said industry employed 0.6 percent.
Compared to 2021, art galleries, museums, ballrooms, conventions and trade shows had the highest employment growth rate at 21.1 percent, followed by advertising, research and development, and artistic service at 14.5 percent.
The industries, meanwhile, that had the lowest employment growth were digital interactive goods and service (4.5 percent), media publishing and printing (4.7 percent), visual arts (6.1 percent), and music, arts and entertainment (6.4 percent).
Creative economy’s potential
As stressed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the creative economy “offers a feasible development option to all countries, particularly developing countries.”
This, as based on its Creative Economy Outlook 2022, which was released last year in Bali, Indonesia, despite the challenges, “the creative economy remains a critical sector for sustainable development.”
As defined by UNCTAD, creative industries, which it said can pave the way for development, are “cycles of creating, producing and distributing goods and services that use creativity and intellectual capital as primary inputs.”
“They comprise a set of knowledge-based activities that produce tangible goods and intangible intellectual or artistic services with creative content, economic value and market objectives,” it said.
Last year, even the Department of Trade and Industry considered creative industries as a key to economic recovery, stressing that the government had set in place initiatives to help in its development.
Looking back, it was in 2021 when the Asian Development Bank Institute said helping creative industries in the Philippines would help in achieving sustainable development, as well as boost income and employment and expand value chains.
‘Least ideal’ for creatives
However, based on data published by digital marketing company Adventrum and Business Name Generator, the Philippines’ capital, Manila, was one of the “least ideal” places for creatives.
Manila was listed as the fifth “least ideal,” next to Tel Aviv in Israel, Johannesburg in South Africa, and Mumbai and New Delhi in India. The “most ideal,” meanwhile, were Tokyo in Japan, London in England, Paris in France, Chicago in the US state of Illinois, and Toronto in Canada.
Based on data, Manila ended fifth on the list because it only got an average score of 3.2, way lower than Tokyo’s 8, London’s 5.4, Paris’ 5.1, Chicago’s 5, and Toronto’s 8. Mumbai and New Delhi both got 2.8, while Tel Aviv and Johannesburg both got 3.1.
Adventrum and Business Name Generator stated in its report, “The Creative Capitals of the World”, that Manila only has 14,644 creative roles and an average monthly salary of $470 for “creative roles.”
These metrics were considered by the company and its research arm: estimated number of “creative” roles available, average yearly salaries advertised for them, and cost of living as a single person excluding rent.
The number of museums and art galleries, number of green spaces, number of classes and workshops, and happiness score by country were likewise considered in its report that was published on Feb. 9, 2023.
Chance to help creative industries
Last year, Republic Act No. 11904, or the Philippine Creative Industries Development Act, lapsed into law, and was regarded by Pangasinan Rep. Christopher de Venecia as something that will help creative industries grow.
This, as the law, which he authored, mandated the promotion and development of Philippine creative industries by protecting and strengthening the rights and capacities of creative firms, artists, artisans, creators, workers, indigenous cultural communities, content providers, and other stakeholders in the creative industries.
It was stated in the law that “to this end, the State shall establish a creative industries development council mandated to implement a long-term plan for the development and promotion of the Philippine creative industries, with programs aimed at creating opportunities and employment, nurturing human resources, ensuring financial-enabling mechanisms, and providing incentives to encourage and sustain Filipino excellence in the creative industries.”
“This council will be created to guarantee the long-term development of the creative industries so that those who belong to it can reap the continuing creation of industry jobs and provide incentives to encourage and sustain Filipino excellence in creative industries,” De Venecia said.