For the second consecutive year, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has approved the allocation of P3 million pesos from her social fund for the Film Academy of the Philippines.
This was relayed to FAP Director General Leo G. Martinez in a letter dated June 21, 2007 which was duly signed by Atty. Erlinda M.B. de Leon, special assistant of the president.
Like the 2006 subsidy, the amount will be given to the academy in two tranches of P1.5 million each.
It will be remembered that President Macapagal-Arroyo also approved a P3 million subsidy from her social fund in May 2006 to help the Academy stay afloat in the face of budgetary difficulties brought about by the substantial slash in its share from the Metro Manila Film Festival earnings.
The two tranches were turned over to the academy on May 17 and December 12 last year respectively and proved to be a financial boost in backstopping the implementation of the FAP’s major projects last year.
The 2006 social fund subsidy, together with the P1.35 million share the academy received as its share of the Metro Manila filmfest earnings, kept the academy going for the entire year.
The FAP was getting its 30% share of the filmfest earnings for the past several years before 2006. This was drastically cut to 10% two years ago, setting off the budgetary constraints that hobbled the academy.
The timely endowment of the first P1.5 million tranche from the President’s social fund enabled the FAP to hold its 24th annual Luna Awards. But there were other FAP projects that benefited from the social fund donation—including the academy’s Scriptwriting-Storyline contest, the Pride Campaign, and the Pelikulang Pampanitikan project which intends to transfer into digital films the masterpieces of Philippine literature which are included in our elementary, high school and college curricula. Another beneficiary is the FAP website project which underwent upgrading in 2006.
FAP Director Martinez emphasized that this year’s P3 million subsidy will take care of the Luna Awards which will have its silver anniversary this year.
He added that the academy must still find other ways and means to generate funds to make the 25th year anniversary of the Luna Awards meaningful and to be able to implement ongoing and planned academy projects.
Meanwhile, the Academy has already received a total of P1.1 million as its share of the film festival earnings in two tranches– namely P800,000 given on March 9 and P300,000 given on May 28, 2007.