Local and foreign film producers who intend to bring in foreign film artists and workers to the country must coordinate with the Film Academy of the Philippines before their artists and workers are issued special work permits by the Bureau of Immigration.
The FAP has decided to strictly implement this standard operating procedure in coordination with the BI in view of the expected influx of foreign film artists and workers to film movies, television projects and documentary films in the country.
In a board of governors meeting last Wednesday (October 26), three major guilds were assigned to monitor the possible local or foreign-based production of movies or other video-audio projects involving foreign filmmakers and workers here. These are the Kapisanan ng mga Direktor ng Pelikulang Pilipino (KDPP) headed by Director William Mayo, the Filipino Society of Cinematographers (FSG) led by Isagani Sioson and the Assistant Directors and Production Managers Guild (ADPM) presided by Tony Ramos.
FAP Director General Leo G. Martinez said they have alerted local cinematographers, assistant directors, production managers and directors, who are usually hired as counterparts in such projects, to immediately report to the FAP if a foreign or local producer is planning or already undertaking movie projects here.
Under the memorandum of agreement between the FAP and the Bureau of Immigration, signed in August last year, the Academy shall:
• Coordinate with local and foreign producers who intend to bring in foreign film artists and workers to the Philippines , regarding BI and FAP requirements;
• Ensure strict compliance with all permits, licenses and payment of city, municipal or entertainment taxes;
• Issue an official Letter of Endorsement and Certificate of Compliance in favor of the applicant-producer upon completion of requirements. At least 3 copies shall be made, one addressed to the Commissioner of BI, one for the applicant, and one for FAP files. Said documents must be processed and submitted to the BI at least 3 weeks before the arrival of the performing entourage. The FAP hereby warrants that the issuance of Letters of Endorsement and Certificates of Compliance was in accordance with BI standards;
• Appreciate applicant-producer’s accommodation of local film artists and workers whose services he/she may consider acceptable and necessary in his/her project;
• Provide the information-dissemination campaign materials and promote the same nationwide;
• Monitor and report any and all violations by producers, foreign film artists and workers or venues to the BI for the proper action; and
• Furnish the BI a list of persons authorized to issue Letters of Endorsement and Certificates of Compliance likewise until their authority has been revoked.
For its part, the Bureau of Immigration shall:
• Upon receipt of FAP’s official Certificate of Compliance and Letter of Endorsement, together with other documentary requirements, issue the corresponding Special Work Permit required for such purpose of gainful activity to the applicant(s), if merited;
• Assist in the information campaign of FAP through the various government agencies directly related to this concern;
• Coordinate with FAP in monitoring the implementation of the above policies.
The FAP-BI memorandum of agreement stressed that the Academy, created by Executive Order 640-A, is tasked to promote the artistic and technical development of the Filipino film industry by giving recognition to the outstanding achievements of film artists, technicians and workers and to serve as the umbrella organization for all the movie guilds in the country, while the BI is mandated by law to control the entry and exit of all foreigners in the Philippines.
The FAP has emphasized that the government and the local film artists, technicians and workers must have access to possible income from these foreign projects and workers.