Tell it to SunStar: On the Creative Industries Development Bill

·2 min read

We welcome this urgent initiative of legislators and we unite on the following common directions: artists’ protection from precarity, nurturing the country’s creative labor force, and concretely realizing the constitutional policy to support creative industries and the arts.

However, we notice that these considerations are yet to be integrated in the current version of the bill primarily due to the absence of the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) and other related agencies.

In response to the said gaps, here are our observations/recommendations with regard to labor standards and welfare, building local markets and mSMEs support, education & capacity building, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), and Acountability, Transparency, & Grassroots Participation:

The bill lacks provisions that will reiterate workers’ rights included in the Labor Code and international labor standards. The bill’s focus on the export grossly overlooks the need to nurture local audiences and markets.

Representation of art educators and students, and not just Ched (Commission on Higher Education) officials and academic scholars should be included in the council to provide grounded insight on the educational sector and its needs.

The bill must protect the economic advantages of the creatives’ IPR to empower and foster their creation, with priorities bent towards freelance workers and smaller business entities.

The bill should include measures to ensure inclusive development for urban poor, indigenous and other marginalized communities especially with regard to the formation of Special Economic Zones and Creative Cities that have historically led to displacement and dispossession.

We also assert the necessity of continuing consultations among arts and culture workers toward crafting pro-people policies.

We are for any policy that protects creative workers who give life to the industries, that upholds our collective capacity to assert economic, political, and civil rights and our welfare, and that works towards building creative industries for a national economy that is self-reliant and responding to local needs. We are for any policy that directly addresses the clamor for healthcare, protection, legal support, funding, education, and rights protection across fields of creative work.

Currently lodged for third and final reading, House Bill 8101 or the Philippine Creative Industries Development Act was authored by Rep. Toff de Venecia et al. to put in place a National Creative Industries Development Plan that will “(1) help creative Industries survive the current crisis, (2) define and incentivize high potential creative Industries, and (3) promote policies both nationally and at a local community level that help raise our capabilities as a world-class creative nation.”

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