The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on first reading a proposed ordinance incentivizing innovation, creativity and authenticity in the city’s craft industry.
Under the said proposal, the city as a designated Creative City for Crafts and Folk Arts by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will strive to continue its pursuit of sustainable global development by helping and supporting local artisans through incentivizing them by the innovation, creativity, and authenticity of their craft.
Further, the city government shall create guidelines for certifying crafts’ quality and authenticity assurance for the continuous competitiveness and global recognition.
The ordinance stated that the city government will incentivize the innovations, creativity, and authenticity of crafts produced by local artisans through sponsorship, subsidies, waiving tax fees or reducing tax frees, free venue and other equipment owned by the city, recognition and rewards, referral programs, professional development or training, artists or creatives exchange program, support for national and international creative events and others that the city deem fit.
Among the guidelines in certifying craft’s quality and authenticity assurance include that products produced by local artisans, whether through traditional or through contemporary means or either completely by hand or with the health of hand tools or even mechanical means, as long as the direct manual contribution of the artisan remains the most substantial component of the finished product and are grounded on the Cordillera identity or culture and traditions; major parts of the craft are made or procured within the vicinity of the city or Cordillera and the artisans or creator is a Cordilleran or Igorot, and the local craft should either bear the Cordillera identity or Igorot identity or the same must be culture- and tradition-based.
Moreover, the craft should be durable and has a high quality of craftmanship, from the material process to the finished requirements.
The ordinance illustrates the city government’s commitment to culture-based development and multi-sectoral collaboration.
By incentivizing local crafters, the body stipulated that the same shall bring sustainable urban development and economic vitality that intends to foster a more innovative, creative, and authentic craft industry that will benefit people, the city, as well as the country.
Since 2017, the city, together with different non-government organizations and private businesses, had been championing the city’s creative sector, one of which is the craft industry where there had been programs and development such as capacity building and providing market opportunities, both locally and internationally, for local artisans.
With the commitment of the city and other local stakeholders in supporting and raising awareness with regards to the power of innovation and creativity as strategic factor for sustainable urban development, the city was able to earn the designation by UNESCO as a Creative City for Crafts and Folk Arts, joining some of the world’s oldest cities, Cairo in Egypt; Rome in Italy; and Madaba in Jordan.
Photos Glenn “Spyke” Pat-ogan