The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) opens Creative Futures, the agency’s flagship event for CREATE Philippines, with sessions centered on creative governance.

During the conference, Congressman Christopher “Toff” De Venecia will present the ongoing work to pass the Creative Industries Act, a signature legislative piece of the Arts and Culture and Creative Bloc (ACCIB). The bill aims to provide an enabling policy and governance framework that will shape the Philippine creative industry, make it globally competitive, and ensure a sustainable future for the country’s local talents.

As the lead convenor of ACCIB and the Chairman of the Special Committee of Creative Industry and Performing Arts, De Venecia has been vocal about the need for a framework to properly develop the creative industries, so creative output could also mean revenue generation.

In support of the industry and the government’s efforts to push the creative economy, the House of Representatives sponsored participation fees to the conference. This will widen the reach to help capture the creative community. Speaker Lord Allan Velasco is one of the staunch supporters of this initiative.

Speaker Lord Allan Velasco

CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan noted that the conference’s focus on policy is crucial in fostering an enabling environment for all the players in the country’s creative economy.

“Establishing the environment and infrastructure for our creative industries is something that Congressman Toff and the rest of ACCIB are invested in,” Suaco-Juan said. “The renewed push for the Creative Industries Act is an important first step in protecting our creatives and conducting the business of creativity,” she added.

Creative Futures Program Director Erwin Romulo describes the push for the creative agenda in government as a good first step, and institutional support for creatives as vital.

“Whatever international success or worldwide recognition our creators and creatives have managed so far is mostly through their own efforts, private sector support, and sheer luck. If we want to be the number one creative economy in ASEAN by 2030, it is imperative that the creative sectors get institutional support and a push to not only survive but to keep striving to waving our flag abroad,” Romulo noted. “The government is best placed to foster an environment where creatives can flourish as well as support and develop fields for future creatives as well,” he added.

Creative Economy Council of the Philippines (CECP) President Paolo Mercado will also deliver a keynote on the state of the creative economy of the country, zeroing in on the importance of promoting and protecting the local creative industries. Mercado has expressed strong support for legislation related to the creative economy, which he says will not only support the arts and culture, but will extend to commercial and functional design, and even science, technology, and innovation.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) describes the creative economy as an evolving concept, but cites mainly the domains in the creative industries including design, film, software, fashion, and advertising as the lifeblood of the particular ecosystem, and thus an important source of both commercial and cultural value.

Presented in a digital conference format, Creative Futures aims to gather creatives across sectors and to spotlight pathways for the future of the country’s creative economy. The flagship event coincides with the celebration of World Industrial Design Day (WIDD), marked on June 29 of every year. Join the conversation and shape a creative future alongside industry leaders and policymakers. Register for Creative Futures at and follow CREATE Philippines on social media for updates.

Source: Manila Bulletin (