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Senate trade committee sets hearing on creative industries bill

THE SENATE trade committee will conduct a hearing on a measure seeking to develop the creative industries and draft a charter for practitioners.

The committee’s chairman, Senator Aquilino L. Pimentel III, said “many details need to be ironed out,” particularly how to carve out a “new industry” out of “already existing economic activities,” he told BusinessWorld in a phone message Friday.

“My commitment is best effort to come up with a recognized ‘creatives industry’ after hearing the stakeholders,” via hearings at the Trade, Commerce, and Entrepreneurship committee.

Mr. Pimentel said the committee will “try its best” to raise the bill to the plenary before the Senate adjourns its second regular session on June 4.

“Best effort. No promises from the committee,” he said.

Senator Maria Imelda Josefa R. Marcos in July 2019 filed Senate Bill No. 411, which seeks to establish a charter for the creative industries.

The bill classifies as creative industries advertising and marketing, animation and game development, architecture and interior design, broadcast arts including film, television, radio and photography, information technology, software, and computer services, and publishing.

Also included were museums, galleries and libraries, heritage crafts and activities including gastronomy, music and performing arts, visual arts, and product, graphic and fashion design.

The bill proposes to establish a Creative Industries Development Council which will guide development plans for promoting original content and protect and commercialize Filipino intellectual property.

The measure also provides for startup capital for creative entrepreneurs through the council, as well as preferential loans and subsidized rents.

Mr. Pimentel said in a briefing organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines on Feb. 18 that it is better for the council to have a “consolidated job” than to have many government agencies collaborating or with overlapping jurisdictions.

The senator also said that the mandate of the council to ensure enforcement of intellectual property laws should still be studied and be reconciled with that of the country’s Intellectual Property Office. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas

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