PH visual arts sector needs additional support – Lower House panel

By: Manila Bulletin


The Philippine visual arts industry may soon receive more support from government and private institutions.

The House of Representatives, through the Committee on Creative Industry and Performing Arts chaired by Pangasinan 4th District Rep. Christopher “Toff” De Venecia, continued its inquiry into the state of the Philippine Visual Arts sector and other related industries on Thursday, October 7.

The House hearing seeks to address the issues the Philippine Visual Arts industry is facing as well as aid it on shifting into digital platforms.

The topics tackled in the hearing include marketing issues and opportunities, intellectual property issues, regulation affecting the visual arts sector and other concerns, and institutional support for artists.

De Venecia during the hearing reiterated the need for the government and stakeholders to give support to the visual arts industry which is facing tough days due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We should take into consideration the precariousness of our cultural and artistic institutions and work to support them,” De Venecia said.

“We must take this great opportunity for the government and stakeholders to reassess this sector in preparation for recovery, resilience and development of the visual arts, and a whole government approach must be taken to support this sector,” he added.

Among the resource speakers who joined the hearing via Zoom meeting were Art Informal Gallery co-owner Tina Fernandez, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Rafaelita “Fita” Aldaba, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Assistant Secretary Eduardo Menez, VIVA ExCon Organization Chairman Manny Montelibano, Orange Project co-founder Charlie Co, Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) Enforcement Office Officer-in-Charge and Director Atty. Ann Edillon, former government corporate counsel Atty. Rudolf Philip Jurado, National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Cultural Heritage Section Head Lawrence Charles Salazar, Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Visual Arts and Museum Division OIC Rica Estrada, Ateneo Art Gallery Director and Chief Curator Ma. Victoria “Boots” Herrera, and MetroBank Foundation Inc. (MBFI)-Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE) Program Head Louise Lane Calicdan.

Fernandez discussed the role and current situation of the art gallery industry aside from the concerns and regulations affecting the visual arts industry.

Aldaba, on her part, talked about the state of the visual arts industry. She also mentioned the opportunities, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the sector, and the DFA initiatives and strategies for the industry.

Menez gave an overview of the DFA’s efforts of promoting Philippine visual arts and other industries overseas through art exhibits, film showing and festivals, museum collection, fairs and markets, and international expositions. He also discussed the need for creative industry mapping, revisiting prohibitions in the Philippines Constitution, maximizing the Filipino diaspora around the world and holistic approach.

Montelibano spoke about VIVA Excon Organization’s achievements as a Visayas-wide art exhibition, collaborations with visual arts stakeholders, and the challenges facing the industry while Co talked about the Art District and Art Spaces given to artists in Bacolod City, marketing and opportunities for local artists, and challenges and expectations.

Edillon discussed the role of IPOPHL, coverage of IPOPHL Enforcement Office, IP Code, and intellectual property violations.

Jurado, on the other hand, shed light on the IP rights of a visual artist while Salazar explained the regulations and laws affecting visual arts.

Estrada, meanwhile, revealed the institutional support given by CCP to visual artists.

Herrera gave her notes on the institutional support for the arts, especially the need for a patronage system from the government and private sectors.

Calicdan, on her part, shared the support given by MBFI’s MADE program for Philippine arts and culture.

Giving their comments and insight during the hearing were NCCA National Committee on Art Galleries (NCAG) Head Danny Rayos del Sol, IPOPHL division chief Atty. Jeremy Bayaras, NCCA Visual Arts Administrator Geraldine “Dindin” Araneta, and sculptor Manilito “Lito” Mondejar.

The next committee hearing is scheduled on October 28. (Melvin Sarangay)