MANILA — In conjunction with the highly anticipated Metro Manila Summer Film Festival, Senator Manuel “Lito” M. Lapid reiterated his call for more government support for the local film industry by filing a bill that would reduce taxes paid by local film and entertainment industries.
In filing Senate Bill No. 2056, Lapid hopes that the local film and music industry in the country will have a better chance to recover from the losses caused by the pandemic, piracy, and the proliferation of streaming media, through the provision of the necessary income tax break and the exemption of exhibitors from paying amusement tax.
“In order to encourage more of our compatriots to return to theaters and support Filipino films like the official entries in the Metro Manila Summer Film Festival that will be held from April 8-18, we need to give the industry the necessary support by giving them tax breaks that will help them create great art with competitive pricing that is still affordable for our countrymen,” he said.
The actor-turned-senator also emphasized that under his proposal, locally produced films and performances by local artists should also be available and accessible to Filipinos of all walks of life, as a way to preserve and protect our arts and culture.
“The return of our compatriots to our cinemas and theaters can help our economy not only by providing jobs to those in the industry but to neighboring economic activities in the creation of films and live performances such as of restaurants and shops that sell to those who watched movies and concerts. Another benefit of this is that our countrymen give life to our art,” added Lapid, who is with Coco Martin in “Apag” one of the official entries in the 2023 Summer MMFF.
According to Lapid’s proposed proposal, to be known as the “Local Arts and Entertainment Industry Promotions Act”, any local film producer that uses at least eighty percent (80%) of the budget for Filipino talent and staff can claim the total expenses incurred in the execution, production, and release of the film provided that the claim for exemption shall be allowed as a deduction from the total income of the company for the same taxable year and that the total amount of the tax exemption is shall be included in their gross income or earnings and shall be subject to proper documentation and the provisions on allowable deductions.
“I hope that my colleagues in the Senate will also support the passage of this proposal so that we can further raise the quality of our local film and music industries. I also invite everyone to support the first Metro Manila Summer Film Festival. Yours The servant is part of #APAG under the direction of the excellent Director Brillante Mendoza,” he said.