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BAGUIO CITY – The city government will infuse additional funds to various programs, projects and activities on crafts and folk arts to help sustain the city’s designation as a creative city by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong said that aside from institutionalizing the creation of the city’s creative council, the city government intends to increase the funding support in the conduct of art-related programs, like the annual creative arts festival, to entice the active participation of the artists and artisans in activities lined up for such undertakings.
He added that the city government is sourcing out the funds to increase the city’s support to creative arts from the present P3 million to P5 million next year.
Further, the city government is locating additional spaces that could be utilized by the artists and artisans to pursue the various aspects of their trade, aside from funding the development of the Diplomat Hotel area as one of the creative centers in the city pursuant to the conceptual development plan to be presented to the city by the concerned stakeholders.
Earlier, the city chief executive requested the artists and artisans to submit to the city government their proposed conceptual development plan of the Diplomat hotel so that appropriate sourcing of funds could be done for the realization of the said project starting in the year 2021.
According to him, part of the proposed comprehensive master development plan of Burnham Park is the put up of a creative center with a 2-basement underground parking in the site of the old city library which as indication of the city’s support to the creative industry.
The comprehensive master development plan of the 34-hectare Burnham Park complex is now undergoing the public consultation with the stakeholders to elicit the suggestions and recommendations of the public on how to improve the said plan prior to the implementation of such development of the city’s premier tourist destination.
On October 31, 2017, the UNESCO Creative Cities Network designated Baguio City as one of the 64 cities in the different parts of the world as a creative city for crafts and arts and the city was given a 4-year period to maintain and sustain the designation through various activities related to crafts and folk arts.
Last year, the private sector and the city government spearheaded the conduct of the first-ever creative arts festival dubbed ÉNTACool as part of the programs, projects and activities to help the city sustain the aforesaid designation.
Magalong expressed his gratitude to the city’s private sector, particularly the Baguio Arts and Crafts Collective, Inc. (BACCI), for their efforts to help the city government sustain the designation with the conduct of this year’s Ibagiw that brings the annual activity to a higher level for the benefit of the city’s emerging industries that form part of the city’s creative economy.
He urged the private sector to inform the city government of their needs so that efforts will be done to meet the same considering the contribution of the concerned sector to the city’s current status in the creative industry.
By Dexter A. See
Photo by: Armando M. Bolislis