‘Make the creative sector a priority investment area’

MAKE the creative sector a priority area to attract more investments, following Cebu’s successful recognition as a Unesco creative city of design.

This was the call of Glenn Soco, Provincial Board member of the sixth district, as he noted the need to support the emerging startup ecosystem in Cebu.

“When we make a rundown on the industries that were identified as priority investment areas in the province of Cebu as contained in the investment code, most industries are the usual. I’m happy that Cebu is already a creative city because I didn’t see any support for the creative industry as part of the priority investment area,” he said during the Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP) launch in Cebu City on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019.

Soco said his team in the provincial government is looking to find ways where Cebu can take the lead in supporting the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

He said this would help, for instance, potential entrepreneurs interested in the creative sector.

“Thinking outside of the box, that is something you can explore that we do away with the conventional mindset because mostly, when we get enrollees for our Oplan Negosyo Eskwela, it’s usually food, it’s usually retails but none from the creative,” he said.

He also proposed to make business permits for MSMEs free for three years.

“Why three years? Because the first year is setting up your business. The second is growing your business and the third is the sustainability year of your business,” Soco said.

He said the current investment code drafted in 2014 is still focused on giving incentives to big businesses.

“I felt that it should not be directed towards these big businesses. It should also be geared towards our MSMEs,” he said.

DTI Undersecretary Blesila Lantayona said the YEP aims to empower young entrepreneurs to go into business as the government is initiating efforts to make it easier for them.

“The right path for the youth sector is for them to go into entrepreneurship,” she said.

The YEP Cebu roadshow, organized by the Department of Trade and Industry in Central Visayas, was attended by more than 200 participants ranging from young entrepreneurs to designers and artists, among others. (JOB)