Rep. de Venecia slams DTI for limited support for creative industry
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) was criticized for overly focusing on animation, software creation, and game development in their creative programs, with one lawmaker arguing that the agency can explore other creative avenues mentioned in Republic Act No. 11904.
At the hearing of the House Committee on the creative industry and performing arts on Tuesday, committee chair and Pangasinan 4th District Rep. Christopher de Venecia gave this remark, adding that the DTI can actually explore other creative industries mentioned in Republic Act No. 11904, or the Philippine Creative Industries Development Act.
The House panel has conducted hearings seeking to know the state of the country’s performing arts industries.
“Again, the Chair makes the observation that a lot of your programs are skewing heavily towards animation, software, and game development,” de Venecia told DTI Director III Jhino Ilano who attended the virtual meeting.
“Again, we have 70 creative industries, so you have to tailor a program for all — if not all the 70 industries, at least all of the nine domains in the Creative Industry Law. So maybe you look into that,” he added.
De Venecia observed asking Ilano what DTI’s creative industry programs are — to which Ilano said that they are looking at international markets.
When de Venecia asked Ilano what the markets were, Ilano said Filipinos working in the creative industry could be part of productions like The Lion King.
“Are there international markets for the performing arts? Have you done your research, Jhino? What are those markets? Like South by Southwest? Is that an international market?” de Venecia asked.
“Currently, we have some ideas coming from our different posts, but it’s not yet as concrete as compared to other creative industries, Mr. Chair […] Potentially that can be part as well as ‘yong mga Lion King presentations, Mr. Chair. We’re trying to look at potentially do’n sa areas na ‘yon,” Ilano replied.
But this prompted de Venecia to point out that there are already Filipinos in such production — and that instead of looking for shows, the focus should be on international markets.
“Lion king presentations? Ano ‘yon? Is that a show?” the committee chairperson asked.
“That’s a show. If we can try to potentially look at some of the performances to join, but that’s just a very rough idea,” Ilano said.
“But Jhino, there are Filipino performers already in Lion King? I don’t think you should look at specific shows, you should look at specific markets — international performing arts markets where performing arts firms or creators can pitch their content or their talent,” de Venecia noted.
In terms of music festivals where foreign productions can discover Philippine talents and intellectual property, de Venecia asked if the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) has explored the possibility of launching a music conference — similar to the one it did with the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) in 2019.
CITEM’s officer-in-charge for Department Management Marjo Evio said that they have none, noting that CCP initiated the project.
“Do we have like a Manila Fame-type of music conference to enable our local proprietors to pitch our talent to foreign producers, or festival organizers, or record labels? I think there was an effort by SITEM to do that in 2019 with CCP, but is DTI working on such?” de Venecia said.
“Right now wala, that one was a partnership with CCP, that was initiated by CCP,” Evio replied.
When asked whether there was an impact assessment of the program, Evio said that they only have the total sales from the over 30 exhibitors at that time, which was at just $9,000 — composed primarily of bookings for music performers.
“Based doon sa 40 — we had around 30 or 40 exhibitors if I remember correctly […] $9,000 lang ‘yong, well the reported sales that we got at that time,” Evio said.
“So there’s no parang intellectual property of like Filipino performing arts content being performed abroad.” de Venecia said. “We’ll request for a proper impact assessment of that program no’ng 2019, to be submitted to the committee at the soonest possible time so perhaps we can revisit that program.”