City to consult with stakeholders on fund use

The local government will consult with the stakeholders on the formulation of a comprehensive master plan on how to sustain the city’s new identity as a creative city and the utilization of the earmarked P2.5 million for crafts and arts.
            City Budget officer Leticia O. Clemente admitted that the crafting of the plan by the local government for crafts and folk arts involves the active participation of various sectors and thus it is important for the city to consult the stakeholders before finalizing project to be funded with the initial funds allotted for the said purpose.
            She underscored the importance of government and the private sector pooling their available resources for the city to sustain its status as a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network to help establish a sustainable creative economy for the city.
            Earlier, the local legislative body scrapped the P5 million previously earmarked for the conduct of a plebiscite on the proposed barangay merger in the city’s annual budget and re-allocated P2.5 million of the said fund for crafts and folk arts.
            The city budget officer claimed the local government and stakeholders have at least four years to implement programs, projects and activities before UNESCO evaluates if the city is worthy to maintain its creative tag.
             Relevant stakeholders in crafts and folk arts welcomed the inclusion of their sectors in the allocation of resources by the local government to help in implementing necessary innovations and enhancement of their programs and activities to entice people to value the importance of uplifting the state of the city’s creative economy.
            By consulting with the stakeholders in crafts and folk arts in the city, Clemente expressed confidence there will be a master plan adopted and subsequently implemented in the next 4 years for the city so it can maintain its creative tag.
            On October 31, 2017, Baguio City was among 64 cities from 44 countries which were included among Creative Cities Network of UNESCO. It was chosen under the crafts and folk arts category boosting the city as among the world’s best, the fifth Southeast Asian city to join the exclusive tag.
            Last December, the Cordillera office of the Department of Tourism (DOT-CAR) and the University of the Philippines Baguio (UPB) decided to convene Baguio artists to form the interim Baguio Creative Council to ensure the representation of artists in the fulfilment of the network’s vision for the city.
            The UNESCO Creative Cities Network aims to strengthen cooperation with and among cities that have recognized creativity as a strategic factor of sustainable development as regards economic, social, cultural and environmental aspects. By joining the network, cities acknowledge their commitment to sharing best practices, developing partnerships that promote creativity in the cultural industries, strengthening participation in cultural life and integrating culture in urban development plans.
By Dexter A. See