Malacanang has slashed the share of the Film Academy of the Philippines from the proceeds derived during the 2005 Metro Manila Film festival from 30 to 10 percent—in effect reducing to one-third the academy’s entire budget for this year.
FAP Director General Leo G. Martinez said the Malacanang decision was in response to a request of Mr. Vicente R. del Rosario, the presidential consultant for the entertainment industry.
He added that the board of governors of the academy had an emergency meeting last Thursday, February 2, because of this unexpected development. The board decided to write a letter to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, requesting the Chief Executive to reconsider the revised allocation/distribution of the MMFF proceeds and justifying the retention of the status quo on this matter.
In a letter signed by Executive Secretary Eduardo R. Ermita to Mr. Del Rosario, dated January 24, 2006, the allocation/distribution of the MMFF proceeds has been revised as follows:
–The Motion Pictures Anti-Piracy Council: from 30% to 10%.
–The Film Academy of the Philippines: from 30% to 10%.
–Movie-workers Welfare Foundation (MOWELFUND): retained at 30%.
–President’s social fund (for projects benefiting the movie industry): retained at 10%.
–Optical Media Board: allocated 20% of the proceeds.
–Film Development Council of the Philippines: allocated 20% of the proceeds.
Director General Martinez said that both the OBM and the FDCP are national agencies which will be given a share of the rebate on amusement taxes which are purely local government income.
Academy Chairman Espiridion Laxa explained that the slash in the programmed budget of the academy will force it to cut down immensely on programs that are intended to benefit the majority of the members of the local film industry.
Among those who attended the emergency meeting were: Deputy Director General Jesse Ejercito; Executive Secretary John Suarez (vice-president of the MPDAP); Treasurer Manny Morfe (president of the Production Designers’ Guild of the Philippines); Adviser Robert Arevalo; Mowelfund Executive Director Boots Anson-Roa;
Director William Mayo (president of the Kapisanan ng mga Direktor ng Pelikulang Pilipino); Jess Navarro (president of the United Film Editors’ Guild); Manuel Nuqui (president of the Philippine Motion Picture Producers of the Philippines); Antonio Ramos (president of the Assistant Directors and Production Managers’ Guild of the Philippines);
and Isagani Sioson (president of the Filipino Society of Cinematographers).
(The fifth installment of the yearender on the film industry, The Year That Was, will come out in the next website date—editor’s note)