Jul 30
FAP DAY HIGHLIGHT: ROAD MAP FOR LOCAL MOVIE INDUSTRY by Jose N. Carreon  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Tue, Jul 30, 2013

Director General Leo G. Martinez discussed the salient points of the road map drawn up by the Fair Trade Alliance that enumerated the problems besetting the local movie industry. He also emphasized that the local motion picture industry (covering mainstream and indie films and TV) must be worker-friendly.

In 2008, the Academy had linked up with the FTA of former Sen. Bobby Tanada to draw up a road map for the motion picture industry.

The talk on the problems and the need for a worker friendly local industry turned out to be the highlight of FAP Day which was held under intermittent rain last Saturday afternoon at the Mowelfund compound in Cubao, Quezon City.

Inspite of the rain, some 300 officers, members and even new members who registered under the various guilds of the Academy braved the inclement weather to attend the once-in-a-decade affair.

Entertainment numbers (see other article on FAP Day), an open forum and free lunches and snacks were the features of the half-day general assembly.

FAP Director General Leo Martinez gazing at the early birds

Problems Besetting the Philippine Film Industry

In his address to the FAP members present, Director General Martinez enumerated the following as the problems of the industry as identified by the FTA.

1. High levels of bureaucracy brought about by multiple government agencies often lacking clear and consistent scope and focus.
Government Agencies and Units affecting the film industry include the MTRCB, OMB, IPO, LGUs, FDCP, FAP, NCCA, MMDA, and NCAP.

2. Insufficient government support, which is further highlighted by the lack of a sound long term plan for the film industry.

3. Government support does not only constitute financial assistance to the industry. This also entails cohesive, robust and pro-Filipino policies that would nurture the local industries in general.

4. Much like other local industries, local movie production also faces stiff competition from unregulated flow of imported movies.

5. Still related to national policies, workers in the film industry are not well-protected. This is evidenced by the lack of Occupational Safety and Health Standards within the industry.

Leo Martinez and FAP DAY committee chairman William Mayo

6. Heavy Taxation. Despite the passage of the amusement tax reduction law, it projected impact is yet to be felt by the industry stakeholders. Even with the reduction of the amusement tax, taxes levied on local movies are still daunting compared to the non-imposition of amusement tax and VAT in Brunei, Hong Kong and US.

7. Competition from New Media. With internet usage on the rise and the technology developing at an incredible rate, many are opting to utilize this relatively cheap source of entertainment. Free television and cable also play a role the dwindling numbers of movie-goers.

8. Television Network Dominance and relative advantage in PR and Marketing

Leo Martinez and Rez Cortez who led the opening prayers

Though the FAP director-general did not mention the FTA recommendations to offset these problems in his talk on FAP Day, he decided to release these necessary steps as limned by the FTA.

1. Promote and adopt the decent work agenda within the industry.
a) Social Protection
b) Skills upgrading
c) Job creation and preservation

2. Craft a business plan that both the industry and the government can use in future project and policy development.
a) Development of domestic market by upgrading the public’s film appreciation
b) Identifying market niche within the ASEAN Region and the rest of the world (OFWs and Immigrants)
c) Determine the impact of various trade agreements in different levels on local film production and exportation.

3. Review existing as well as enact new laws and polices that would aid the development of the local film industry. Review of the charters of existing agencies and institutions related to the film industry. Enact a competition law that would truly foster healthy competition and prevent monopolies and formation of cartels.

4. Create a National Film Commission that would oversee the development of the industry as well as represent the welfare of its workers.

(Next week: Towards a worker friendly motion picture industry)