The Film Academy of the Philippines will bestow plaques of appreciation to Makati and Quezon City for their sincere efforts to shore up the academy’s finances by turning over the FAP’s cultural tax share retroactive to 1992. The giving of the plaques will be part of the 29th Luna awards program scheduled on June 18.
On March 23, 2009, Vice President Jejomar Binay, then still Makati City mayor, turned over to FAP officers headed by Director General Leo G. Martinez a check for P4,242,823.72 as its accumulated 20% annual share from the cultural tax collected on cinema admission tickets for several years.
More than a year later on September 6, 2010, newly-installed Quezon City Mayor Herbert M. Bautista turned over to the Academy a check for P5,835,508.95 as its accumulated share from the cultural tax collected on cinema admission tickets from 1998 to 2008 during a flag raising ceremony at the Q.C. hall plaza.
Then last February 24, new Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr. handed over the academy’s share from the cultural tax collected on cinema admission tickets for the year 2009, amounting to P192,212.40.
During its last awards night on February 8, 2009, the Academy presented a similar plaque of appreciation to Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim for being the first Metro Manila executive to turn over to the Academy its share from the 25-centavo cultural development tax retroactive to 1992. In 2008, the City of Manila also approved a similar resolution to hand over to the Academy its shares on the cultural tax retroactive to 1992.
A backgrounder on the Cultural Development Fund revealed that the then Metropolitan Manila Commission (now the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority) passed an ordinance in 1979 setting up the Cultural Development Fund to be derived from the 25 centavo levy on all admission tickets of movie houses in Metro Manila. The ordinance allocated the proceeds from the cultural development tax as follows: 30% to the Cultural Center of the Philippines; 20% to the Film Academy of the Philippines; 20% to the Experimental Cinema of the Philippines and 30% to be retained by MMC.
The MMC remitted the funds to the beneficiaries for several years but with the enactment of the Local Government Code in 1992, the MMC declared that government units were to remit the shares directly to the benefi-ciaries. The last remittance to beneficiaries was in May, 1985.
But it appears that since January 1992, the local government units stopped remitting the cultural tax to the MMC even if the cultural development tax continued to be collected by movie houses.
At present, the Academy is negotiating with the cities of Pasay and Mandaluyong about the possible remittance of its cultural tax shares from 1992 to the present.
FAP Director General Martinez sought the help of Metro Manila mayors in early 2008 to get the Academy’s accumulated shares from the cultural taxes.
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