A proposal in the House of Representatives seeking a five-year tax holiday for the film industry should be immediately approved in light of recent international achievements by Filipino movie actors and directors.
The triumphs of Jaclyn Jose, Directors Brillante Mendoza and Lav Diaz, Charo Santos and John Lloyd Cruz in various film festivals abroad, Rep. Lito Atienza of Buhay party-list group said on Thursday, “further proves that Filipino talents are topnotch and world-class.”
“This five-year tax holiday will greatly benefit the industry as it would lower the cost of production with the 100 percent exemption from Customs duties and national internal revenue tax on the importation of machinery, equipment and spare parts as well as 100 percent tax credits to domestic manufacturers of any articles directly related to film making,” Atienza said of his House Bill 2624.
The bill, which shall be known as the Philippine Film Industry Tax Holiday Act of 2014, seeks to give a five-year tax holiday for the film industry– including the purchase of equipment, production of films and exhibition of these films starting on the year of their approval, in order for the whole film industry of the Philippines to recover and improve, especially with the entry of new players.
“Our film industry used to be one of the fastest growing industries in the Philippines and in the world as well. We used to be recognized in the world in terms of creativity, originality and talent in our movies. From an average of 300 films a year, we have dropped to making less than 50 films a year,” Atienza, also senior deputy minority leader, said.
Jaclyn Jose won as Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival for the movie “Ma Rosa” helmed by award-winning Director Brillante Mendoza while Lav Diaz bagged the Golden Lion Award in the recently-concluded Venice Film Festival for his movie “Ang Babaeng Humayo” that starred industry icon Charo Santos-Concio and John Lloyd Cruz.
Atienza pointed out that the rising cost of movie production has made it harder for start-up film companies to enter the industry and has watered down competition and improvement in the whole film industry, which he said badly needs subsidies and a tax break to be able to bounce back and be competitive once more.
“Our writers, directors and producers are still as topnotch as before, and can still compete with their counterparts in international markets. And because of the good reviews and many standing ovations received now by Philippine ilms in international festivals, such as the Cannes Film Festival, we can easily compete with Hollywood-produced films. We just need to help the Philippine film industry right now in retracing its path to profitability and greatness,” he said.