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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

15 September 2021 02:49:34 PM

Two bills filed in the House of Representatives are set to provide much-needed support to the country’s creative industry and media practitioners.

House Bill (HB) 8101, or the proposed Philippine Creative Industries Act, primarily authored by Creative Industry and Performing Arts Chair Christopher “Toff” De Venecia (Pangasinan, 4th District), seeks to provide financial and institutional support to targeted creative industries.

For her part, ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Rowena “Niña” Taduran authored HB 8140, which seeks security of tenure and better benefits for all workers in the media industry.

“Magkapatid itong bills na ito,” De Venecia said of the measures during the virtual Ugnayan sa Batasan media forum. He added that hearings for both measures were conducted almost simultaneously.

The proposed Philippine Creative Industries Development Act, which has been approved by the House on second reading, provides for the creation of the Philippine Creative Industry Development Council and formulation of the Philippine Creative Industries Development Plan.

“Ito ay isang panukalang kumikilala sa creative industries bilang lehitimong sector, na naglalayong magbigay ng proteksyon at suporta na galing sa estado para talagang matulungan at ma-accelerate ang kanilang development,” De Venecia said.

Creative industries identified in the measure include traditional cultural expressions, music and the performing arts, architecture and interior services, animation and digitized creative content, audio-visual, broadcast and interactive media, cultural sites, and visual arts. When enacted, the measure will help freelancers formalize themselves into the economy.

De Venecia believes that with the appropriate government support, the country’s creative industry can propel the Philippines towards becoming a creative powerhouse in the ASEAN region.

“Even without the bill, we are already number one in terms of creative services, and number five in the export of creative goods within the ASEAN region. Now you will have a strategic planning and roadmapping for the growth and development and acceleration of these creative industries para ma-hit ‘yong targets,” De Venecia said.

Meanwhile, Taduran’s House Bill 8140 seeks to professionalize the private mainstream media sector by providing workers just compensation and job security.

Taduran said that most private media firms are still implementing the “talent system” and are only giving “allowances” as remuneration for their workers. She added that media workers form part of the country’s frontliners, and are therefore entitled to receive hazard pay and other health and social benefits.

“We want to professionalize ‘yong ating mga kasamahan sa industry, na mabigyan ng minimum wage,” Taduran said, adding that now is an opportune time to consider the welfare of the mainstream media workers.