The “Future is Creative” Forum held September 28 at the University of St. La Salle Coliseum brought together creatives and artists to showcase Filipino creativity and instill a deeper appreciation for the potential of the creative industries in the Philippines.
Third District Representative Jose Francisco “Kiko” Benitez, who addressed the audience in a Keynote Presentation, highlighted the significance of the Philippine Creative Industries Month and the importance of the Philippine Creative Industries Development Act (PCIDA) in promoting and supporting the creative economy in the Philippines, particularly in Negros Occidental.
Saying “The PCIDA is about empowering creative workers and entrepreneurs to enhance quality and efficiency in creative production, and to access new markets. To increase in fact our awareness of what it means to be Filipino through our creative arts and further our soft power internationally.”
Benitez underscored the remarkable impact of the creative industries on the Philippine economy in 2022.
“The creative industries contributed 1.6 trillion pesos, equivalent to 7.3% of our GDP, and employed 6.98 million Filipinos in 2022. This employment figure accounts for 14.7% of total employment nationwide. Notably, the creative industries’ GDP share is close to that of agriculture, which stands at 8.9%, and it surpasses the share of tourism, which is 6.2%, for the same year,” said Benitez.
Benitez noted that positioning the creative industries at the intersection of technology and culture is essential in today’s rapidly evolving global landscape.
“We have to situate creative industries at the intersection of technology and culture, at the nexus of knowledge and digital economies, at the heart of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Increasingly, creative industries are blurring the boundaries of the physical and the virtual, of the human and pixelated.”
He also recognized that the economy is changing, and is moving towards a more creative focus, noting that, “The explosion of information in the knowledge economy and its concomitant need for processing of this data and information has pushed awareness that we are now not in a knowledge economy, but in a creative and innovation economy.”
In his concluding remarks, Benitez reemphasized the significance of creative individuals and professionals in driving economic growth, fostering national identity, and enhancing the country’s reputation on the international stage.
“There is no creative economy without you,” said Benitez, “mga taga Negros, mga Bacolodnon, mga taga Distrito. The Philippine Creative Industries Month is about all of you. It is all about us. The Future is Creative, let your passions live because the future is you.” synthesizing the spirit of the event.
The forum was organized by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Department of Trade and Industry, Negros Cultural Foundation, USLS and its Artist’s Hub with support of office of Cong. Kiko Benitez. Among those present were Congressman Toff De Venecia , Bacolod Councilor Em Ang, Silay Councilor Ryan Gamboa, USLS Chancellor Minnie Chua, NCCA Chairman Victorino Manalo and NCCA’s Marichu Tellano, Technical Consultant for PCIDA Atty. Gio Gomez, Director of IPOPH Atty. Emerson Cuyo, NCF Executive Tanya Lopez, DTI Provincial Director Lynna Cardinal, Slow Food Negros president Reena Gamboa, and Ad Monetization Lead Alfred Lucot.