The Film Academy of the Philippines and the Nagkakaisang Manggagawa ng Pelikulang Pilipino (NMPP) are joining hands to push through projects that will benefit the thousands of movie workers in the country in the fields of health and housing.
The Academy, the umbrella organization of the working guilds of the film industry, and the NMPP– which also counts as members non-guild movie workers, like checkers, theater employes, lagaristas, etc.—by themselves alone can muster the biggest federation of film craftsmen, as well as workers.
NMPP officers, headed by Directors Joel Lamangan (NMPP president), Tony Reyes (DGPI president) and Mel Chionglo (DGPI treasurer) met with the officers and members of the Board of Governors of the Film Academy of the Philippines led by Director General Leo G. Martinez last Friday, April 21, and discussed ways and means to disseminate benefits to film industry members.
Director Lamangan explained that the NMPP was able to negotiate with Quezon City Mayor Sonny Belmonte a project to provide at least 4,000 movie workers and NMPP members a one-year free membership with PhilHealth.
He also announced that NMPP members will now have access to rent-to-own Pag-Ibig properties which are available for immediate occupancy. Film industry workers previously had a tough time availing of housing units by the Pag-Ibig because of strident and onerous requirements they are asked to submit to avail themselves of the government benefit.
Director Tony Reyes said that under this Rent-To-Own agreement, NMPP members will not be required to furnish Pag-Ibig with a battery of requirements, but are only required to be active NMPP members and Pag-Ibig members with 24 monthly contributions. He added that the 24 monthly contributions will be sponsored and donated by Senator Lito Lapid.
Aside from the above, other plans for livelihood projects are now in the pipelines and shall be announced as soon as details for such projects are established.
FAP Director General Martinez said that the Academy is more than willing to coordinate with the NMPP regarding these projects. He even offered to make the FAP offices a temporary assembly point for the FAP-NMPP joint campaigns.
Also attending the meeting were: Directors Romy Suzara, Bebong Osorio and Ben Feleo, as well as Josie Tagle, from the NMPP; and FAP officers and the presidents of the various guilds of the FAP, including FAP Chairman Espiridion Laxa, Manny Morfe, treasurer and president of the production designers guild, John Suarez, secretary; Josefino Cenizal of the United Film Musical Directors Association of the Phil., Jesus Navarro of the Film Editors Guild for Motion Pictures, Pablo Gomez of the Screenwriters’ Guild of the Phil., Rollie Ruta of the Sound Technicians Association for Motion Pictures, Isagani Sioson of the Filipino Society of Cinematographers and Joel Apuyan of the Film Assistant Directors and Production Managers Guild of the Phil.