In anticipation of the Metro Manila Summer Film Festival, Senator Manuel “Lito” Lapid renewed his call for the government to provide support for the Philippine arts and entertainment industry by providing them corporate tax breaks, including exemptions from amusement tax.
In filing Senate Bill No. 2056, or the proposed “Local Arts and Entertainment Industry Promotions Act,” Lapid said it is imperative for the government to consider giving the industry the necessary support “by giving them the necessary tax breaks that would let them create good art, while still having competitive pricing that are affordable to our countrymen.”
The bill also seeks to exempt venue operators from the payment of amusement tax when showing locally produced films and music events featuring Filipino artists.
“The past few decades presented several challenges to our film industry, as well as the music events industry featuring Filipino artists. First among these are the piracy that deprived our artists and those involved in the creation of the arts to be deprived of their hard-earned livelihood,” Lapid said in the explanatory note of the bill.
“Another is the advent of readily available streaming media, which resulted in less attendance in movie theaters and live performances,” he further said.
The advent of readily available streaming media, which resulted in less attendance in movie theaters and live performances, he said, also contributed to their plight.
Eventually, the COVID-19 pandemic, Lapid said, caused devastating effect in the country’s local arts scene and entertainment industry as it forced cinemas, concert halls and the like, to suspend their operations.
Many Filipinos working in the industry, he noted, had no steady means of livelihood during the pandemic.
Since it will take years, or decades, before the country’s economy can return to the pre-pandemic levels, Lapid said he hopes that the local arts and entertainment industry will recover faster as the country eases the COVID-19-related restrictions.
“Ang pagbabalik po ng ating mga kababayan sa ating mga sinehan at teatro ay makapagbibigay ng tulong sa ating ekonomiya hindi lamang sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay ng trabaho sa mga nasa industriya, kundi sa mga karatig na economic activities sa paglikha ng mga pelikula at live performance kagaya ng mga restoran at mga shop na nagtitinda sa mga nanood ng mga pelikula at concert (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 cater to movie and concert goers),” Lapid stressed.
“Kasama pong benepisyo nito ay ang pagbibigay buhay sa ating sining ng mismo nating mga kababayan (An added benefit of this is the giving life to our art by our own countrymen),” he added.
“The economic and cultural gains brought about by this proposed measure far outweighs the expected loss in revenue. In view of the foregoing, immediate approval of this bill is earnestly sought,” the lawmaker stressed in his measure.
Lapid files bill seeking tax break for film, music industries
Apr 2, 2023 07:42 AM