Vice mayor calls for investment in Cebu City’s creative industry

CEBU. Cebu City Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia (center).
CEBU. Cebu City Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia (center).Cebu City PIO photo

CEBU City Vice Mayor Raymond Garcia urged investors to explore opportunities in Cebu's creative sector during a recent webinar organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (Unido) ITPO Tokyo.

In 2023, the Cebu City Government announced its plans to build a Creative District at the North Reclamation Area to serve as a central hub for film, production, animation and other various creative endeavors.

"Cebu is the perfect destination for investments in the creative entertainment industries," Garcia said, highlighting the city's potential for growth and development.

Garcia said the current status of the creative entertainment district in Cebu City is still in its planning phase, adding that the land has already been identified, but there are still no developers or investors when it comes to infrastructure.

Garcia acknowledged the need for private sector involvement to realize the project, saying infrastructure such as office spaces and studios are crucial components, requiring collaboration between the public and private sectors.

"Although we have the yuta that will be both from public and private, ngita pa lagi ta og investor who is willing to put up the necessary capital to build the infrastructure," he said.

The City is currently looking for investors who are willing to go into a public-private partnership with the City.

"Mag sharing na lang ta sa revenues puhon," said Garcia.

He said the creative entertainment district needs a bit more push from both the private and business sector to help find a pool of investors who are willing to partner with the Cebu City Government.

"We need siguro lang a little bit more push from the private sector to be able to realize this project," he said.

Garcia said the webinar served as a platform to gauge investor interest and attract partnerships.

He said the webinar was small in scale, although it included Japanese investors, so plans are underway to expand engagement to other regions, with a Creative Summit slated for 2024. He said there is no final date yet for the creative summit.

Also during the webinar, Garcia cited Cebu's appeal to filmmakers, with its diverse landscapes and historical sites attracting international productions like the American TV series "Almost Paradise," which filmed its first two seasons in Cebu. He said the TV series is expected to shoot its third season also in Cebu.

"We would want to promote investments in this industry to support local talent and showcase the beauty of Cebu to the world," he said.

Garcia said that if the creative entertainment district is developed, it could be one of the creative entertainment hubs in the Philippines and this is something that Cebuanos can be proud of.

Economic data from the Philippine Statistics Authority underscored the significant contribution of the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector to the country’s economy, with P52.8 billion in Gross Value-Added recorded in the third quarter of 2023. (RJM)


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