Pangasinan 4th District Rep. Christopher de Venecia on Tuesday lauded former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano for his leadership during his 15-month term as head of the House of Representatives, saying it opened the discussion on the plight of the creative industries.
“‘Yan ay isang konsepto na hindi kaagad naiintindihan ng lahat ng tao (Most people do not understand the concept immediately),” de Venecia said during a short program on July 6 in Dagupan City where Cayetano had introduced the “Alan Sari-sari Store Community” program to 100 sari-sari store owners.
“Maraming agam-agam at mga hindi nauunawaan sa sektor na ‘to pero sa ating pakikipagtulungan kay Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano ay talagang nabigyan tayo ng pagkakataon para maging kauna-unahang chairperson ng Special Committee on Creative Industry and Performing Arts sa bansa,” he added.
(Many were hesitant and could not understand this sector, but through the help of former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, we were able to become the first chairperson of the Special Committee on Creative Industry and Performing Arts in the country.)
De Venecia said Cayetano believed in advocating for the creative industries during his term as House Speaker.
“Sa totoo lang, kung wala ang committee na ito, baka nakapila ako sa iba’t ibang komite at hindi napa-prioritize kasi hindi naman ‘sexy’ y’ung usapin ng creative industries,” De Venecia said.
(Truthfully, if this committee did not exist, I would probably be lining up in different committees [to bring up this issue] and this would not be prioritized because the discussion on creative industries is not as ‘sexy’ as the others.)
“Pero dahil nagkaroon tayo ng komite, linggo-linggo ay mayroon tayong mga hearings. Mas nauunawaan natin ang sektor, na kung hindi niyo naitatanong ay 7.34 percent ng GDP ng buong bansa at ‘yan ay ni halos walang tulong pa [mula] sa gobyerno,” he added.
(But because we have this committee, we are able to conduct weekly hearings and we are able to understand the sector better. In case you didn’t know, the creative industries contribute 7.34 percent to the gross domestic product of the country, and that is with almost no help from the government.)
De Venecia also noted that through the committee, they have managed to speak to around 35 sectors, including vloggers, chefs, visual artists, designers, and other creative and performing artists.
“Lahat sila talagang andaming hinanaing dahil kahit kailan hindi sila napansin ng gobyerno. Hindi sila masyadong natutulungan. Pero dahil sa kabaitan rin at sa foresight ni Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano ay nabigyan ng boses ang sektor na ito sa Kongreso, na tayo ay tumutulong magsulong,” he said.
(All of them have concerns because they have never been given attention and help by the government. But because of the goodness and foresight of former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, they were given a voice in Congress, and we are helping him move it forward.)
De Venecia also recognized Cayetano for helping Pangasinan in boosting local tourism and small businesses, citing the rehabilitation of its baywalk — which used to be the “red light district” of the city — and the funding of the San Fabian Biker’s Den as examples.
“Y’ung Biker’s Den na iyon, naitayo natin sa bulubunduking area ng San Fabian na dating liblib, pero ngayon talagang pinupuntahan na ng mga siklista,” de Venecia said.
(We were able to establish the Biker’s Den in the mountainous area of San Fabian, which is now a top destination for cyclists.)
“In a way, itong mga benepisyo na nagagawa ng turismo, ng pagiging malikhain, ng mga tulong na nakuha namin under your leadership ay talagang nararamdaman ng taumbayan, and for that, we are very very thankful and grateful,” he added.
(In a way, these benefits that come from tourism, from being creative, and from the help that we received under your leadership are felt by the people, and for that, we are very very thankful and grateful.)##