With the just concluded national elections, ‘tis the season of unsolicited suggestions.
How about a commission for the local movies? The proposed commission would be in charge of anything and everything concerning the local movie industry so that things would be somehow centralized.
To be structured like the Comelec, PMC – which stands for Philippine Movies Commission – would have several commissioners appointed by the president of the country.
To invigorate the local movie industry, the proposed commission will have the following responsibilities and obligations:
1. Handling of budget and audit (oversight) of all agencies.
2. Implementation of approved developmental plans like festivals,forums, etc.
3. Making available a direct production support for the benefit of producers through:
–Free technical consultancy
–Affordable equipment rental
4. Appointing of agency heads.
5. All other responsibilities that do not fall under the agencies.
The PMC will have under it the defined agencies with specific purposes.
A. The Film Academy—to act like a human resource manager:
1. Be the supervising body of sectoral groupings like guilds and other organizations
2. To record and maintain a centralized database that would also serve as contact point of all movie industry workers,
3. To handle the continuance of the FAP awards,
4. To provide a continuing education via technical workshops and seminars,
5. To draw a standardized and acceptable pay scale for talent fees,
6. To coordinate with foreign productions on location shooting in the country.
B. Film Development and Planning, presently the FDCP, to formulate short and long term plans for the development of the movie industry:
1. Continuous upgrading of the local movies thru a realistic rating system vis-à-vis cultural, social and commercial values
2. Assuring local movies’ international acceptance,
3. Implementation of contests and similar activities,
4. Implementation of an effective grants system.
C. Censors and Regulatory Board, presently the MTRCB:
1. To implement a realistic classification system with focus on the film’s artistry,
2. To provide a venue for x-rated movies.
D. Anti-Piracy, presently the OMB, to control electronic piracy of movies:
1. Seeking cooperation of the police in enforcing the prohibition of selling and possession of pirated movies,
2. Implementation of a penalty system for establishments like malls whose tenants are caught selling pirated movies,
3. Enactment of new laws for stiffer penalties for the crime of piracy,
4. Launching an information campaign against the use of pirated materials.
E. Welfare, presently the Mowelfund:
1. To draw up special affiliations with the SSS (Social Securities System) and Philhealth,
2. To device a formula to afford a pension plan for long-time members.
1. Preservation of old and new films,
2. Preservation of equipments (like projectors) for old films,
3. Establishment of a digital library partially accessible thru the internet.
The first of the birthing pains is the assimilation into the commission of private corporations like the Mowelfund. But this can be worked out unless the agency concerned is unyielding to the proposed setup.
For the sectoral group membership, named stars seem to snub the membership system particularly of the KAPPT (Kapisanan ng Artista sa Pelikula at Telebisyon) at present. But this issue can be resolved once the movie producers are required to hire only bona-fide sectoral group members.
If the selling and mere possession of pirated DVDs can be likened to illegal drugs, there would be no need for the raids, which pose a grave risk to life and limb. A relentless information campaign can probably change the present scenario.
Commissioners of the proposed commission need not be a monopoly of movie industry workers only. There should be a representation from other sectors especially from the movie-going public, although this is difficult to identify, and the academe.
With the centralized setup, there would be a clear connection and defined interaction among the movie industry workers, producers and all other sectors that would create a more progressive atmosphere.
This position paper can serve as draft for future discussions on the subject matter.
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