Entertainment industry leaders will converge in Malacanang on September 22 (Thursday) for a scheduled major policy speech of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to give the ailing local entertainment industry a long-needed shot in the arm.
The affair, to be held at 1:30 p.m. at the Ceremonial Hall (renamed Rizal Hall), is actually intended to honor two Filipino talent/singers, Jeb Madela and Rizza Navales, who recently chalked up an unprecedented triumph as Overall Grand World Champions in the Peforming Arts held in Los Angeles last month. Madela ands Navales were send to the contest by Ida Henares, GMA 7 Talent Center head. They competed against more than 1000 contestants from 51 countries.
Their achievement was deemed doubly remarkable because it was the first time the country participated with just two representatives. South Africa fielded 250 contestants while the US fielded 150.
Hilarion Henares Jr., presidential consultant on national affairs, said that the President has already approved the scheduling of the affair to give due recognition to the achievements of the two GMA talents and added she might just deliver a major policy speech that will have a bearing on the plight of the local entertainment industry, especially the film industry.
Acccording to the presidential consultant on national affairs, they have passed on to the President the major concerns as voiced out by leaders of various sectors from the movies, music recording, television, cartoon and anime, modeling and other fields of entertainment. These concerns invariably include the following:
–The possibility of reducing to zero all customs duties on raw materials and equipment for the entertainment industry.
–Legislation to abolish the amusement tax on the exhibition of movies filmed in the Philippines, whether foreign or local.
–Strict implementation of EO 255 mandating that radio stations broadcast four Original Pilipino Music (OPM) every clock hour.
–Legislation to punish building owners for harboring piracy of intellectual property in their premises.
–The setting up of a One Stop Shop (like the New York Film Commission), through an order of the Department of Foreign Affairs and other agencies, in the issuance of visas and permits for foreign movie outfits, as well as foreign students and professors for the entertainment arts and sciences, who will transact business and research in the country.
–Promulgation of measures to update our local film festivals to the level of the professional integrity and expertise of the major Film Festivals of the World, with special attention to the competition of digital films by Filipino and foreign filmmakers.
–Mobilization of our talented performers going abroad to promote the Philippines as a tourist destination and a retirement home for foreign senior citizens; also locally as advocates for worthwhile causes such as Cancer Prevention, Children’s Rights, Anti-AIDS, Aid to the Blind, Deaf and the Disadvantaged.
Henares said they are inviting everyone in the industry to attend this special affair to demonstrate their solidarity and support. He specifically called on directors, managers, artists, and representatives from the Film Academy of the Philippines, the KBP, all TV and radio stations, the PARI and the media.
Those interested must immediately submit their names for submission to the Palace in advance. The following can be contacted: Bo Andaya, 844-2390, 810-3372; Mia Omido, 634-6513/14; and Larry Henares 0918-918-5084. Or the guest list can be E-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.