Film industry seeks tax holiday

Published May 12, 2021, 9:17 AM

by Mario Casayuran

The film industry has sought a declaration of tax holiday as it reportedly lost some P16 billion because of the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

During a public hearing by the Senate economic affairs committee, lawyer Josabeth Alonzo, corporate secretary of the Philippine Motion Picture Producers Association of the Philippines, said their financial losses started in March 2020 because of quarantine protocols.

The association said the film industry has 300,000 workers and that it remitted P13 billion to the economy in 2019.

. The Metro Manila Film Festival, on the other hand, earned P25 million last year compared to its P1 billion earning in 2019.

While they are trying to rise from their financial difficulties, the film industry members asked government not to collect amusement taxes and shooting fees paid to local government units (LGUs) in their location shootings.

The industry, likewise, pointed out that its production cost has increased to 30 to 40 percent since they follow health protocols.

Roselle Monteverde, president of Regal Films, supported the position of the film industry by saying the industry is on a survival mode and that location fees are high.

Other resource persons who attended the hearing have different requests to the committee chaired by Senator Imee R. Marcos.

The film industry said it needs a wage subsidy because they are having financial difficulties and it also requested that their business permits be given automatic extensions.

Local governments and government agencies were also requested to make purchases from the local fashion industry.

Lawyer Ariel Tubayan of Globe Telecom requested a three-year life span or make permanent a policy announced by President Duterte accelerating the processing of government permits needed for the construction of cell towers.