Makati City Mayor Jejomar C. Binay asked the city council to pass an ordinance to exempt Filipino movies from amusement taxes, stressing the measure will help the local film industry and save the jobs of thousands of movie workers.
“We hope that by exempting Filipino movies from the 30% amusement tax in Makati, we can help the thousands of workers and encourage producers to continue making movies,” Binay emphasized.
Immediately responding to the mayor’s call, the Makati City Council has drafted Ordinance No. 2008-042 which amends section 3F .01 Article F on Amusement Tax of the 2004 Revised Makati Revenue Code to completely exempt from payment of amusement tax all Filipino films shown in all movie houses in Makati.
The local film industry is excessively taxed, compared with the film industries of other countries. Binay said that the decline in film productions and the rise in unemployed movie workers may be directly attributed to excessive taxation.
The Philippines ranks among the countries that collect high taxes, consisting of 30% amusement tax plus the 12% VAT and other taxes totaling 48% that are imposed on the local film industry.
Binay said: “We cannot expect the Filipino movie industry to survive if government continues to impose excessive taxes.”
There are 31 movie houses in Makati City which include: Glorietta with 11 theaters; Greenbelt with seven theaters; Power Plant with six theaters; WalterMart with four theaters; and ABC Mall (managed by SM Moviehouses) with three theaters.
Binay appealed to other local governments to consider exempting Filipino movies from amusement taxes in their localities. Both Senate and the House have already approved laws to reduce the 30% amusement tax to a maximum of 10% throughout the country.
Binay cited figures that showed a sharp decline in the number of locally produced films. The figures showed that from the 1970s to the mid 1990s, the annual average of local films was 150 up. From 1998 to 2003, this number plummeted to 82 films a year. It was down to 56 films in 2004, 53 films in 2005, 50 films in 2006 and 47 films in 2007. In 2008, only 22 films have been shown so far.
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