Undoubtedly, the Philippines has enough interesting tourist destinations that are perfect settings for internationally-produced movies, TV shows or series, music videos and other media projects.
With this in mind, Senate President Manny Villar has filed a bill to develop and promote film tourism in the Philippines through Senate Bill 2404.
In his explanatory note to the senate bill, Sen. Villar stressed:
“The purpose of this bill is to promote the country as a prime film tourist destination showcasing the various destinations of the country as the perfect setting for movies, TV shows, music videos and other media projects.”
“The passage of this bill will in effect highlight the country’s globally competent filmmakers, state-of-the-art production facilities and capable technical crew who are willing and ready to assist foreign production and media outfits.”
“In order to encourage involvement in the film tourism industry, accredited film productions and institutions and other service providers actively participating in the said industry shall be exempt from payment of EVAT and customs duties for the importation of cinema equipment and facilities necessary for their operation.”
SB 2404 is entitled An Act To Develop and Promote Film Tourism in the Philippines, Providing Funds and Incentives Therefor and For Other Purposes.or the Film Tourism Act of 2008.
The pertinent and interesting sections of the proposed bill include the following:
SEC. 4. Film Tourism Information. The Department of Tourism, in coordination with the National Commission on Culture and the Arts, the Film Development Council, and officials of all local government units nationwide, and in consultation with various groups in cinema, film production, theater arts, communications and promotions, and other aspects of filmmaking shall identify the world-class cinema-related service providers that have the capability to engage in film tourism services. A system of continuing information dissemination on film tourism shall be adopted.
SEC. 5. Promotion of Film Tourism. The consular officers and employees of the various Philippine embassies and consulates based in other countries shall have ready information and data on film tourism services available in the country. They shall likewise encourage the officers and members of the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) associations to promote and disseminate information regarding film tourism in the country as their contribution towards a sustainable industrial growth.
SEC. 6. Accreditation of World-Class Film Tourism Providers. The DOT is hereby mandated to conduct a national accreditation and affiliation program to identify providers of world-class filmmaking, tour operators, service providers, production companies and facilities, theater groups and cinema guilds, and other film service providers in the country.
SEC. 7. Assistance for International Accreditations. The DOT, in coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs, shall assist the various film companies, actors’ guilds, theater groups, media outfits and other film service providers in seeking accreditation from foreign governments so that they may qualify to serve foreign productions and clients.
SEC. 8. Fiscal Incentives. Accredited film productions and institutions and other service providers actively participating in the film tourism industry shall be exempt from payment of EVAT and customs duties for the importation of cinema equipment and facilities necessary for their operation.
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