June 27, 2019

MANILA— The National Economic and Development Authority sees the potential of establishing more “creative hubs” as a way to boost creative industries and to support the country’s economic growth.

“We need more creative hubs where we can develop pools of creative talents and create opportunities for them. While Filipino creativity seems to be an intangible concept, its development has a huge contribution to the Philippine economy,” NEDA Undersecretary Jose Miguel R. de la Rosa said.

Members of the NEDA’s management committee participated in an exposure trip to Intramuros, Manila, on Wednesday. Paolo Mercado, founder and president of the Creative Economy Council of the Philippines (CECP), briefed NEDA officials about the plan to turn the Maestranza Complex into a creative hub.

Located on the Pasig riverfront in Intramuros, the Maestranza Complex had chambers that used to be a storehouse and barracks for soldiers in the 1500s before these were destroyed during World War II. The CECP plans to restore and reconstruct the ruins into galleries, film showing and performance venues, showrooms and other spaces meant to showcase Filipino creativity.

The complex will also be transformed into an education center dedicated to promoting and inspiring a culture of design excellence. The council will tap the place to develop Philippine-based talents, brands and businesses that will become recognized and valued in the global creative marketplace.

De la Rosa stressed that, as tackled in Chapter 7 of the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022, Filipino creativity is considered a tool for social cohesion and an impetus for a culture-based creative economy.

The creative economy spans several disciplines, which include music, performing arts including dance and theatre, handicrafts, architecture, visual arts, graphic arts, cartoon animation, literature, fashion, furniture and interior design, film, digital inventions including computer games, television production, publishing, and advertising.

NEDA’s exposure trip to Intramuros and the briefing with CECP was organized in light of the ongoing mid-term updating of the Philippine Development Plan and Regional Development Plans.