Buhay Party-list Representative and Deputy House Speaker Lito Atienza said on Friday Dec. 3 that our government should give its full support to the entertainment industry if we want to achieve success similar to K-Pop in South Korea.
“I am working for the government to be more supportive of the entertainment industry. I’m working on a five-year tax grade. Sana naman matulungan natin sila kundi pati movie industry natin bababa na talaga,” said Atienza during a Christmas lunch with the print editors of the entertainment industry held at Victorino’s in Quezon City on Wednesday Dec. 3.
In South Korea, artists receive subsidies as a form of government support for undertaking artistic activities.
“May panalo ba sa atin iyan kung may government subsidy? Once we were No. 1. South Korea is doing well. India is doing well. The Philippines is doing badly. Pag hindi tinutukan iyan ng gobyerno, our movie industry will collapse,” Atienza said.
He added: “Dati ang dami nating ginagawang pelikula. Pero now kakaunti na lang at puro independent film pa.”
Atienza is also the host of the longest-running anthology in the country called “Maynila” on GMA-7.
“Unfortunately, we have to stop shooting ‘Maynila’ due to the pandemic. Hindi naman puwedeng mag-tago kapag may shoot. We will resume as soon as everything normalizes,” he said.
Now in its 22nd year, “Maynila” has already reaped several awards for its presentation of positive values.
“Some of my friends have been telling me that I am just wasting my time producing ‘Maynila.’ They said that the ‘bakya’ crowd loves sex and violence. But we decided to take a different direction. We gambled. Instead of sex and violence, we took the positive note,” Atienza said.
Atienza, 79, also gave his fearless forecast for 2022 as he revealed that the presidential election would be a three-way fight among Senator Manny Pacquiao, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio. “I like the three of them.”
But if he would cast his vote today, Atienza said that he would go for Pacquiao. “Parang anak ko na ‘yan. He is seriously running and thinking to run for president. I told him to think about it many times at isipin mong mabuti yan.”
“Matagal na niyang sinasabi sa akin yan. Given the chance, gusto niyang tumakbo bilang president. Sabi ni Pacquiao, ‘Ang mahihirap patuloy na naghihirap at ang mayaman, patuloy na yumayaman. Dapat natin i-correct yan.”
Asked about his political plan in 2022, the former Manila mayor said: “I’ve been fighting for the past 48 years. I’ve been fighting the evils of the government, local government, the judiciary. Napagod na rin ako. So I’m considering retirement in 2022 and I will enjoy life.”