Researchers present their report "MusikaPilipinas," a study on the economic baseline of the country's music industry, on Aug. 23 at the Central Laboratory Auditorium. (Photo by Kenneth Cedric M. Landazabal/ The Varsitarian)

CONTRARY to popular belief, a career in music can be financially viable, according to a study conducted by the UST Research Center for Culture, Arts, and Humanities (RCCAH).

In the “MusikaPilipinas” report launch on Aug. 23,  RCCAH Director Maria Alexandra Chua said music could become a “source of remunerative income” for Filipinos. 

The music industry is a “source of value creation” for the Philippine economy, she stressed, citing the P14.4-billion contribution of the industry to gross domestic product in 2018. 

“From the moment the Philippine music industry started in the 1870s, the trajectory suggests that music is and has been one of the nation’s most valuable assets,” said Chua, the “MusikaPilipinas” project lead.

“Much is still left to be discovered and done to maximize not only its contributions to the country’s economic development but what the Philippine economy and larger society can contribute back to music,” she added. 

The research project, which outlined the economic baseline of the country’s music industry, involved 700 participants and was completed in nine months. 

It identified key problems, such as the lack of standardized pay, weak enforcement of copyright and intellectual property laws, and the need for a stronger legal framework for the music industry.  

Chua, who teaches musicology at the Conservatory of Music, said she wanted to change the notion that working in the music and arts industry was not financially rewarding. 

“Back then, they would always say that ‘Don’t pursue music, there’s no money there. Be an engineer, a scientist, or a doctor.’…We want to change that,” Chua told the Varsitarian.

“If you have a talent for music or for the arts, why can’t you engage in that?… People who have talent in the arts can actually earn from their craft,” she added. 

Stronger gov’t support

According to Chua, among the biggest challenges the music industry faces is its lack of representation in the creative industries and the lack of a government body specifically for music.

“It’s sort of like, the music industry has been existing [by] itself,” she said. “We don’t really have a council or an agency that really looks after the welfare of the music industry or the music stakeholders.”

Because of this, the researchers recommended the establishment of a “centralized music coordinating council” and the recognition of the music industry as a standalone sector in the Philippine Creative Industry Development Act.

Chua said she hoped the study would raise awareness and encourage Filipinos to support the music industry so  it could grow “not only artistically but also economically.” 

“Considering the talent of Filipinos in music, why can’t we do it? We are very talented in music and we want to capitalize on this. We want to be known [on] the global stage as well,” she said.

The “MusikaPilipinas” project was funded by the National Research Council of the Philippines of the Department of Science and Technology and implemented by RCCAH. 


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