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Agencies explore action plan to maximize city's creative city status

BAGUIO CITY - Government and private stakeholders convened recently to chart action plans aimed at "maximizing Baguio City's membership" to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Creative Cities Network.

Councilor Elmer Datuin who was invited to the Small-Group Strategic Planning Session last Dec. 16 by the Dept. of Tourism regional director Marie Venus Tan and UP Baguio Chancellor Dr. Raymundo Rovillos said the participants led by the newly formed Baguio City Creative Council for Crafts and Folk Arts were able to interact and explore the concept of "Creative Economy " as a means of making creativity as a component of urban development.

Paulo Mercado, president of the Creative Economy Development Council of the Philippines who, Tan and Rovillos said, has been guiding the city in its Creative Cities Network endeavor, presented the concept before the creative council members composed of artists in the industries of weaving, carving and sculpture, metalcraft, visual and performing arts, music and literature and the concerned local government unit office representatives.

Datuin said Mercado envisions Baguio City as a model or pioneer site for creative economy where creativity will be tapped as a strategic factor in attaining sustainable development.

He said Mercado expressed willingness to work with the city in clustering the various arts groups in the categories of crafts and folk arts and create avenues by which each group can unite their efforts and work together to further develop and promote their crafts and artistry as a primary tourist attraction and the same time uplift their livelihood.

"The idea is for these loose businesses to grow into their full potential and become large-scale industries to benefit both the city and the artists through the concept of creative economy," Datuin said. This is in keeping with the poverty alleviation end of the 17 sustainable development goals set forth under the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which is described as a "bold new framework for development cooperation over the next 15 years."

The creation of the local creative council is crucial to the achievement of the goals of the creative cities and the members will also form part of the committee on culture and arts that will be created by the city council through an ordinance, according to Datuin.

Baguio made it to the UNESCO's list of creative cities worldwide as announced last November for its notable crafts and folk arts. It is the first Philippine city to be part of the global network.

"They join a Network at the frontline of UNESCO's efforts to foster innovation and creativity as key drivers for a more sustainable and inclusive urban development," UNESCO said in a statement. – Aileen P. Refuerzo

 
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