December 2, 2023

■ Jane B. Cadalig 

The Department of Trade and Industry-Cordillera is paving the way in strengthening the creative industries not only in the region but also in Northern Luzon.

DTI-Cordillera Director Juliet Lucas said the agency will start working on a roadmap to make the region’s creative industry flourish, adding a lot of the region’s micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are engaged with creatives.

The DTI-Cordillera spearheaded the launch of FiestaKucha, a creatives summit, which has been rolled out in pilot regions in the country, with Baguio City hosting the three-day event that showcased the various talents and creativity of the Cordillerans.

Lucas said with the enactment of Republic Act 11904 or the Philippine Creative Industries Development Act (PCIDA), the creatives industry will be an engine for the region’s economic development.

“The work of a lot of our MSMEs are creatives and because of our region’s sceneries, our geographic location, and our well-preserved culture and tradition, we have a root that can spread into many possibilities,” she said.

“With FiestaKucha, we are starting the ball rolling for the implementation of the PCIDA as we continue to learn about the many aspects of creatives. We recognize it as an industry and it is our hope that it will bring economic development as we do this.”

The region’s creatives, Lucas added, are not only engaged in crafts and performances; but in other aspects such as digital arts.

Nelly Nita Dillera, executive director of the Philippine Trade Training Center, the training arm of DTI, said the creative industry is an important driver of the country’s economy. In 2022, she said the industry generated P1.6 trillion with a workforce of 2.6 million.

“This does not yet include those who are in the formal sector,” Dillera, who was among those who attended the Cordillera leg of FiestaKucha, said.

She said because of the creative industry’s contribution to the economy, one of their priorities is to formalize or register the creatives who are in the informal sector and legitimize their operations by having them registered with the DTI andby securing permits from local government units.

“We want the artisans to look at how they can start their own enterprise. We want them to monetize what they are doing and their skills. We want to teach them entrepreneurial mindset,” Dillera said.

The regional offices of DTI in regions 1,2, and 3 also attended the Sept. 26 to 28 creatives summit for benchmarking.