Visual arts groups seek government support

Visual arts groups are seeking the support of the government for the industry to survive.

This came about during the last hearing of the House Special Committee on Creative Industry and Performing Arts chaired by Pangasinan Rep. Christopher De Venecia which inquired on the state of Philippine visual arts and other related industries.

According to Rights Action Philippines chairman Rey Dulay said that there is still a lack of visible arts council offices, cultural organizers or coordinators, and art centers despite the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) memorandum on the creation of a local culture and arts council in cities and municipalities.

“Importante pong magkaroon ng activities within a community kung saan magkakaroon ng interaction ‘yung mga artists to promote the arts and culture ng bawat community (It’s important to have activities within a community where artists can have interaction and to promote the arts and culture in each community),” Dulay said.

Dulay stressed the need to establish visual arts council offices that will be accessible to every artist and art organizations. He added that such offices will provide assistance for artists aside from being the connection of artists to government agencies like the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and Department of Tourism (DOT), among others.

Dulay added that having cultural organizers or coordinators will help visual artists organize themselves aside from encouraging them to be part of the art and cultural promotion of their respective communities. He also noted that establishing art centers will be an effective way of encouraging artists to interact with their fellow artists and the public.

Artists’ Welfare Project, Inc. (AWPI) executive director Jenny Bonto, on the other hand, discussed the rights and welfare issues that local visual artists are currently facing. She said that visual artists need low-cost materials, training, marketing, space, and digitization.

Bonto also called for visual arts industry members to have affordable health care benefits, social amelioration assistance, legal advice on contracts and representations, regulations, grants, tax cuts and incentives, investments, and inclusivity.

She added that visual artists are often silent on abuses and violations done to them for fear of losing their jobs and income.

De Venecia said that the Freelance Protection bill or House Bill 8817 includes a non-retaliation clause that needs to be lobbied for its enactment to protect the welfare of freelance workers like them.

The Pangasinan 4th district congressman added that he will also push for the passage of the creative industry welfare bill or House Bill 7762. (Melvin Sarangay)

Article and Image Source: Manila Bulletin –

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