MANILA – The chair of the House Committee on Creative Industry and Performing Arts on Thursday appealed to the local government units (LGUs) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to temporarily suspend the collection of the taxes from the local movies for at least 12 months.
Pangasinan Rep. Christopher de Venecia made the appeal as he welcomed the reopening of cinemas at a limited capacity following the de-escalation of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) restrictions to Alert Level 3 in Metro Manila from October 16 to 31.
De Venecia said taxes are a “big dent” in the earnings and viability of local film production outfits which have suffered greatly from the pandemic.
He said cinemas are the only viable option for these companies, considering that there are entry barriers to online streaming of movies and video on demand that have kept local producers from reaching their audiences.
“Suspension of the tax collection on local movies will help these movie firms get back on their feet so they can recover their costs and earn enough markup to create more movies and hire back their workers, actors, and tech crew,” he said.
He also appealed to the theater operators to give ample equity to locally-produced movies vis-a-vis foreign films waiting these past months to have their films shown in the theaters.
He noted that House Bill 8428, or the proposed Film and Live Events Recovery Act, hurdled committee level at the House of Representatives.
The bill proposes the suspension of amusement taxes for two years and earmarking collections for creative industry development programs for the respective locality.
“While my colleagues and I still push for its passage into law, a 12-month suspension of the tax collection would be the minimum I ask of the LGUs and the BIR. Please allow the industry to recover first,” de Venecia said. (PNA)