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The Economic Recovery of the Philippines: Arts Contribution

In a country where poverty and economic inequality is so rampant, it is essential to find ways to help the economy recover. A recovering economy means more jobs and a better standard of living for the masses. One way this could be achieved is by supporting the arts, which will help people provide livelihoods for themselves and contribute to the economic growth of this country. However, this is no walk in the park – it has its upsides and downsides and implications on other sectors of society such as tourism or education – not just effects on how much cash there is in circulation. Poverty and lack of basic amenities such as a sound education system, good health care services, safe transportation systems, and decent housing have made people opt to be creative to improve their life. The arts have already contributed to the economic growth of countries like Sweden and Denmark. Once fully implemented, this could help our country.

The Economic Status of the Philippines

The Asian Development Outlook (ADO) presents the Philippines’ forecast to grow by about 4.5 % in the year 2021 and by about 5.5% by the end of 2022 (The National Economic and Development, 2019). The Philippines’ economy has much been affected by the inflation rate due to widespread of the Coronavirus pandemic in Asia and other parts of the world. Moreover, the national economic and development authority has conducted extensive research on the reliance on artwork to boost the Philippines’ economy. Also, the government sees the opportunity that the economy holds with the emergence of young individuals who have a strong passion for arts. Further, art is not an option that supports, promotes, or encourages the creative industry in the region but is at the forefront of protecting and valuing the cultural identity and heritage of the Philippines state.

The Philippines Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022 is among the first medium-term development process/plan, which compromises a chapter concerning the nation’s culture and values. Moreover, The Philippines Development Plan comprises the critical factors or points of strategies which include 1—valuing the Philippines” diverse culture and 2—advancing or promoting creative excellence. Additionally, the National Commission on Culture and Arts in the Philippines’ is creating two cultural hubs in the Philippines’, specifically the Maestranza and Bohol, to assist in developing the nation’s pool of creative talents and create employment opportunities for the citizens.

Furthermore, the government also has local arrangements or plans mandated with cultural responsibilities that are economic oriented. Through the Department and Budget Management’s Local budget memorandum number 78, a set or dedicated budget on the culture targets the local artists in their paintings to promote their economic status and that of the whole nation (The National Economic and Development, 2019). Moreover, the creative economy consists of performing arts, music such as visual arts, graphic arts, handicrafts, theatre, dance, fashion, literature, interior design, and cartoon animation. Thus, the Philippines’ government strategies concerning the art industry will result in significant economic improvements in the region despite the inflation rate due to the widespread Coronavirus pandemic.

Art is considered as one of the promising economic promotion elements in the Philippines’ economy through the analysis of various artwork that has contributed to the personal development of art career. Most individuals rely heavily on art to support their bills. Other individuals find it hard to survive by relying on local artwork that does not sell as international significance. Thus, the Philippines’ government has strategized its economic development through art to ensure that there is future growth of the economy despite the inflation occurring due to unavoidable circumstances.

Creative Economy in Philippines

The department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has been at the forefront to display and position various Philippines’ sectors of the creative industry as the critical component or factors for economic promotion. The DTI aims at achieving its objectives by organizing an international innovative industry show exhibition that brings various artistic themes to the event by appreciating and rewarding the artists for their complex work contribution to the Philippines’ economy (The National Economic and Development, 2019). Moreover, the event is meant to serve as a master class venue, idea hub, trade fair, and pitching event that displays four major high potential creative sectors: performing artists, advertising, production and animation.

The event is meant to comprise three keystone components that possess the economic development concept or theme. First is the creative hub and talks (CHAT), a forum meant for creative professionals that facilitates knowledge sharing. Second is the ARTALIVE exhibition, which displays the Philippines” artworks by featuring new products of creativity, visual communication, film, animation, and modern global influences in the designs. Last but not least is the featuring of various performances from homemade independent and mainstream artists.

Philippines” Art Concept

Art is also a significant source of revenue for countries where poverty is rampant – it is the art that brings in the tourists who spend money on it when visiting said country. As such, the arts are a driving force behind tourism as well. By contributing to a good economy through its art form, the Philippines’ would benefit economically and tourism-wise. With low incomes, it is easy to see how the arts are not fattened up to the extent that they could provide jobs for many people. Only those who have enough money to buy art can afford its expensive price tags. Most of what is produced in the country are affordable only by the rich. Therefore, nothing under 100,000 pesos will be bought by casual shoppers (Adobo Magazine, 2019). The scenario limits the number of people who can purchase art, resulting in a slow-moving economy.

As the only country in Asia with a primarily urban population (from 63% to 80% of its citizens), the means of transportation are limited to cars, buses, and taxis (Adobo Magazine, 2019). If it were more accessible to people, more people would ride public transportation rather than driving their cars. Aside from saving gas money, this will also contribute to less pollution in the air – which is another factor that contributes to an economy’s health. Moreover, with the young millennial population that is rapidly growing in the region, most industries are investing in the art industry, which is becoming a boom or significant economic booster in the nation.

Most of the artwork is expressed to point out the importance of urging various industries to engage in conservation and sustainable business that protects the environment from degradation. The Philippines’ government has been spending many funds on environmental pollution control that has been one of the significant issues in the country’s economic developments. Moreover, many companies do not practice sustainable business that is nature friendly which makes the government impose strict restrictions on running any business within the Philippines’ environment. Thus, any organization that intends to enter the Philippines market or invest in the economy has to meet the requirements of being nature friendly or practicing eco-business, which helps the government control the environmental pollution in the region.

Art Influence on National Productivity

Arts and culture also contribute to the national productivity in the workforce. Through engagement with the art and the culture, people can develop critical thinking skills, which aids them in creative problem solving and proper communication. Moreover, for adults and children, the earlier mentioned skills improve an individual’s intellectual ability and well-being, contributing to significant success in daily activities. Further, the person-level benefits taken in aggregate tend to display the flexibility and effectiveness of any country’s workforce positively on the productivity level. Not to mention the associated long-term health results and minimize cases of crime rate in the society.

The introduction of artistic education in the Philippines’ education curriculum is essential for the development of creativity. According to Adobo Magazine (2019), arts education is one of the critical pillars for the United kingdom’s increasing knowledge-based economy. Moreover, the rapid progressive creativity and innovation in knowledge-intensive activities are capable of maintaining long-term economic growth. Thus, Philippines’s investment in arts education fosters creativity and innovation in the nation’s future workforce.

Arts also play a vital role when it comes to supporting various research activities in the country. Most of the officially known and popular research activities have been linked with artists working as research supervisors. For instance, Cebu institute of technology, Mapua University, University of Mindanao, and University of the Philippines’ Diliman College of Fine Arts are among the recognized institutions that support art research activities. Thus, through research, various industries can source new ideas and knowledge on carrying out their business activities with a more significant positive economic impact on the Philippines’.

Known Artists Offering Skills/ Workshops

There is also much more than art could do if given the chance and support it deserves as a hobby and industry. The Philippines’ is the home of four world-famous artists: Michaelangelo, Pablo Picasso, Antonio Canova, and Cézanne–all of whom are prominent icons in an artistic sphere. These four artists have contributed significantly to the economic development of the Philippines’.

Cézanne’s paintings were known as some of his finest works and were showcased in art galleries across Europe during his lifetime. In 2010, the painting, The Boy in the Red Vest was sold by Christie’s Auction House in London for a record price of £46.7 million ($77.4 million) (Batalla, 2016). The painting was purchased by Steven A. Cohen, an American hedge-fund manager and owner of the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture. Second, Picasso’s paintings were also considered some of his finest works, with some reaching prices that set records at auctions. The artist titled Garcon a la Pipe (Boy with a Pipe), painted in 1914 when Picasso was only 25 years old, sold at Christie’s in May 2004 for $104 million.

Last but not least, Antonio Canova (15 August 1757 – 5 April 1822) was an Italian neoclassical sculptor, prominent during the late-18th to early-19th century. In 2015, the first auction of his work took place in London, when a sculpture called “Nude,” sculpted by the artist around 1810, sold for £15.2 million ($23.2 million) (Batalla, 2016). The sculpture was then bought by American art collector Steven A. Cohen, who later donated it to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Historically, the study of art played an essential role in economic development in the Philippines’. In 2011, 132,000 artists and artisans were registered by the National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCCA) (Batalla, 2016). The NCCA also reported a gross income of Php2.4 billion ($59 million). According to UNESCO and other national statistics, art is one of the four primary services contributing to the Philippines economy. The Philippines’ is considered a strategic location where cultural events such as art festivals can draw tourists worldwide.

Featuring Online Art Businesses (Philippines)

FilipinoArt is one of the online marketing platforms that supports the Philippines government’s economic development by displaying and selling the original artworks of the local Philippines artists. The online platform was launched in the industry through one of the physical events titled “Sariling Sining” Ayala Malls Circuit (The Manila Times, 2019). Moreover, the online platform ensures that the artist’s work is evoked in various cultural and economic influences with the Philippines themes. Also, the platform offers opportunities to the upcoming artists, but it also features seasoned all-time Filipino artists dedicating their work to the economic promotion of the country. Since the development of the online platform by the Chanz Global company, the FilipinoArt features more contemporary artworks, including mixed media, drawings, and paintings.

Further, FilipinoArt is struggling to ensure that every artist’s hard work is recognized in various themes that contribute to the overall economic development of the Philippines’ as a nation. Traditionally, most artists grew up from low incoming families that created the flawed notion of art as a career that cannot sustain a person’s financial stability (The Manila Times, 2019). The allows the artists to have an online chat with each other where they exchange ideas and offer various job opportunities to each other. Moreover, when sold, the utilized art benefits both the artists and the country because of the amount of tax generated in the process. Therefore, Filipino Art company is struggling to make sure that it maintains the economic status of the artist that are mostly affected by the pandemic.

Youtubers Creating Ads for Small Businesses Free of Charge

Most of the artists participate in the community services by offering free advertisement to startups and small businesses. Most of the upcoming firms lack enough capital to invest in advanced advertising methods for their products, making it hard for their goods to reach a specific target market, which affects the general growth of the economy. For instance, Ruffy Tulfo is among the popular Youtuber in the Philippines’ who has many online social engagements to promote business by discussing issues facing the private industry in the country. Thus, some of the free advertisement done contains the art themes that represent the nation’s culture and economic development.

The YouTubers also have a promotional subscription which ensures that artists get paid once their products sell through online agencies. Traditionally it was hard for the local artists to get their artwork recognized in the whole country. Still, through the emergence of social YouTube influencers, their artwork has brought positive economic change. The YouTubers provide the platform to create the awareness that art is a financially stable career that can sustain anyone as long as they are committed to the profession. Therefore, the Philippines economy has high chances of economic improvements with the support of the free YouTubers advertisements services that promote small and international artwork, which bring recognition to the country’s culture.

Art for a Cause

Through the power of people, they can create impressive things beyond their expectations, which is the better part of art. Moreover, artists express their opinions or themes in drawing, dancing, music, or painting as long is according to their passion (Vercide, 2020). During the tough pandemic times, art has remained one of the refugee sectors for many artists to keep their minds healthy from all the psychological torture that crisis has brought. Additionally, most Filipino artists have been using their artistic skills to help others who do not have any economic drive. Therefore, most artists have decided to launch various fundraising campaigns and movements to help individuals in need through their respective crafts in all types of art.

For instance, ABS-CBN started the “Pantawid ng Pag-ibig” campaign in collaboration with local government officials and private companies to raise funds that can be used to buy food and basic needs for the individuals who have been greatly affected by the pandemic in the Philippines’. The fundraising has been happening through social media platforms to generate much traffic that makes fundraisers support the campaign by purchasing artistic work being sold on a promotional basis. Moreover, to increase the donations, the ABS-CBN utilized the concept of online performances of various types of artwork such as music and dance to reach the maximum target of funds needed to support the greatly affected Filipino families (Vercide, 2020). So far, the “Pantawid ng Pag-ibig” campaign has been able to provide food and other basic needs to more than five thousand Filipinos in the last four months.

Another example of art for a cause is the “Bayanihan Musikahan” campaign started by the national artist for music. The Ryan Cayabyab aimed to bring the whole spectrum of musical talents from all over Filipino to raise funds for offering protection kits, barangay quarantine areas, and food for the most vulnerable families in the region (Vercide, 2020). In addition, most of the musicians and other artists have been conducting several Facebook live concerts and Instagram lives to urge people to donate funds to aid the affected ethnicities in the Philippines’ to help the government control its budget. As of May, the campaign had raised about 6 million US dollars to help the vulnerable communities heavily hit by the Coronavirus pandemic.

In conclusion, art forms the backbone of any country’s economic development or promotion. From the above examples, art does promote not only the economy of the land but also the cultural recognition and heritage of the nation. Moreover, the creative industry contributes to various forms of art promotion that lead to long-term revenues to the country by utilizing multiple channels of promoting both the local and international Filipino artists. The incorporation of art education into the academic curriculum of the Philippines implies that the future economic output is more likely to be effective than the current workforce output. Therefore, the engagement of art in economic activities will likely boost the Philippines’ economy by a higher margin than the current income it generates to the government.


Adobo Magazine. (2019). Creative economy: DTI launches CREATE Philippines’, the country’s first trade event for creative industries. Adobo Magazine Online. Web.

Batalla, E. V. C. (2016). Divided politics and economic growth in the Philippines’. Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 35(3), 161-186. Web.

The Manila Times. (2019). An online marketplace for Filipino visual artists. The Manila Times. Web.

The National Economic and Development Authority. (2019). Invest in Filipino creativity to promote culture, help boost economy – NEDA. The National Economic and Development Authority. Web.

Vercide, J. (2020). Art for a Cause: Filipino Celebs and Artists who have raised fund for COVID-19 Pandemic. Web.

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