Arangkada: DTI- Design Center, CECP, Private Sector Band Together for "Creative Philippines"

Published · Friday, March 16, 2018 02:06 PM

TAGUIG CITY, Philippines - Last February 27 at the Mind Museum, the Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines called together representatives from the public and private sector to participate in Arangkada, a round table discussion with this year's focus on developing the Philippine creative economy. First launched in 2010, Arangkada Philippines is the major advocacy of the Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines aimed to increase investment and employment in the country. It is an annual forum where delegates from the private and public sector assess and discuss current findings and reforms on the Philippine investment climate.

Seated (From L to R): Maribel Garcia (The Mind Museum), Lisa Macuja-Elizalde (Ballet Philippines), Rhea Matute (Design Center), Malaya Del Rosario (British Council Philippines), Emmy Delfin (DICT), Angel Guerrero (adobo Magazine), Marjo Evio (CITEM) 

Standing (From L to R): Brian Tenorio (Brian Tenorio & Co.), Jeoffrey Solas (Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce), Jonas Diego (Ladbrokes Coral Group), John Forbes (Arangkada), Henry Shumacher (European Innovation, Technology & Science Center Foundation), Paolo Mercado (CECP), Jowee Alviar (Team Manila), Paul Tajon (BOI), Jos Ortega (HAVAS Media), Juan Miguel del Rosario (ACPI), Cesar Tolentino (Mediablast Digital)

Setting the tone of this year's discussion, founding member of the Creative Economy Council (CECP), Paolo Mercado, first discussed the current state of the Philippine creative economy. He highlights that the Philippines possesses the potential to be a key player in the global creative economy but in order to harness it, creative industries from the different sectors need to come together and create a Philippine standard or brand of creativity.

"What's the game plan? How do the different creative industries now pivot to higher value original content and become global?", Mercado asks challenging the sectors to think at a more international level so that more businesses will approach the Philippines for creative partnerships.

The game plan for the creative economy

In order to put things in motion for the Philippines, Mercado underlines that developing the creative economy, "requires sizing opportunity and understanding where we are in terms of local competitiveness".

According to Mercado, this begins with developing creative hubs and clusters within the creative industry. Creative hubs are where designers and creative individuals are free to work on their craft to boost economic value, product incubation, and service innovation, and to encourage them to experiment and challenge new ways of working and thinking. Whereas, creative clusters are made up of specialized enterprises, institutions, and spaces within similar fields where they both compete and cooperate in order to strengthen local competition and level the trade standards internationally. Clusters play an important role in a creative ecosystem as it encourages a particular creative sector to build an identity based on their own culture and experience therefore pushing more designers and individuals to believe in and advocate for their own brand of creativity.

To nurture creative industries, part of the plan of the government sector is to push for the Department of Trade and Industry to be the lead agency in dealing with the Philippine Creative Economy through an Executive Order. With the DTI directly assisting the creative trade, the economic success of the creative industries will be measured more accurately. The goal of this plan is to recognize creative industries as driving factors for economic success encouraging more individuals to pursue jobs in creative industries therefore further fueling the Philippine creative economy. Once this has materialized, the CECP and other government divisions involved will press on by submitting a bill in order for the strategy to have full support and priority and allow the country to commit with vigor to its long term development and sustainability.

For the private sector, the challenge is to build an investor fundraising pool, increase collaboration with different sectors to develop more creative spaces, and to work with other creative industry organizations to maintain an industry standard and brand based on the Philippine experience and history.

Executive Director of the Design Center, Rhea O. Matute articulates that, "Design does not exist in vacuum. It requires an ecosystem to support design and the creative economy will be that platform that will allow designers to thrive and drive the Philippine creative and innovation quotient in order to make Philippine industries distinct contributors to the global economy."

She emphasizes the importance of Filipino Creative Workers as one of the creative industry's most important assets. "Because this isn't about machines but humans who have talent. We should be able to tap into that and develop it."

The steady growth of the Philippines' creative trade must come with recognizing, legitimizing, and making the country's creative assets as essential ingredient to a development strategy with a triple bottom-line approach: cultural; economic; and social. As a kick off point for the social, cultural, and economic integration of creativity in the Philippines, the different sectors have agreed upon Creative Philippines, a unifying message to be adapted by all creative sectors as a starting point for further strengthening the Philippine creative brand, and for developing stronger collaboration between creative industries both in the local and the global arena.

About Design Center

The Design Center of the Philippines, and attached agency of the DTI, is the only national agency for design, and the leading agency committed to cultivating a culture that thrives in creativity, value creation, and innovation.

For more information on Design Center and its programs and services, please log on to You can also visit the Design Center at the DCP Bldg., CCP Complex, Roxas Blvd., Pasay City or contact them at 832-1112 to 18.

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