Delegates of the Bangsamoro Parliament are pushing for the growth and development of the creatives industry in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), citing its huge potential as a region rich in history, arts, culture and traditions.
Parliament members Amir Mawallil and lawyer Rasol Mitmug just wrapped up an official tour of Baguio, one of the creative cities listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to learn more about the creative industry in the city. The tour and briefing were hosted by the Creative Baguio City Council with the aid of the Baguio City Tourism Office.
“We learned that it enhances democratization by having greater engagement with the private sector – the main source of creativity – while at the same time ensuring the documentation of culture and history, which BARMM is undertaking right now through the Bangsamoro Commission for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage and the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education,” Mawallil said.
Mitmug said the challenge in BARMM now lies in encouraging more private sector participation in the growth and development of the region’s creative industry.
“One reason why the private sector tries to shy away from creative undertaking is because they do not find it lucrative. But the Baguio experience proved otherwise by creating extra jobs and venues and allowing for a creative economy to grow,” Mitmug noted.
Mawallil also said many in the creative industry in BARMM are still unaware of the benefits they can get under national laws, specifically Republic Act No. 11904 or the Philippine Creative Industries Development Act.
“The Bangsamoro region is filled with artists and creative citizens with talents across all disciplines. Unfortunately, I believe many of them remain unaware of the support they can get to maximize their potential and earn more from their respective crafts and skills,” Mawallil said.
“Our ultimate goal is to have one of the cities in BARMM – Marawi, Lamitan or Cotabato City – be declared a UNESCO creative city. It is not far from reality, as our region has been known to be rich in history, arts, culture and traditions,” he added.
Mawallil explained that he and Mitmug learned how Baguio City capitalizes on its creative industry that earns hundreds of millions, if not billions, in gross receipts annually, and saw how they can apply it to the Bangsamoro region.
“Support from the national government is ready and available. Maybe we can supplement RA 11904 with a law in BARMM that mandates an information campaign on how to take advantage of the benefits of the law,” Mitmug said.
Mitmug explained that under the Philippine Creative Industries Development Act, the creative industry in BARMM can get benefits in the form of support in infrastructure, research and development, digitization, access to credit, creative instruction and education, and public-private partnership opportunities.
Also, the law mandates that a Creative Voucher System and a Creative Industry Development Fund be established for the benefit of the creative industry through the creation of Local Culture and Art Councils (LCACs) across LGUs.
The country’s creative economy earned a total of P1.60 trillion in 2022 and P1.43 trillion in 2021.
“We hope to develop the creative industry in BARMM and make it a potent force in the country’s creative economy. I know we can contribute more given the right and adequate support for our creative industry,” Mawallil said.