One of the main points that Director General Leo G. Martinez of the Film Academy of the Philippines emphasized during the recent FAP Day last July 27 is for all stakeholders in the local movie industry to strive for a worker-friendly movie/entertainment sector.
This concern was discussed intensively during the open forum held in the afternoon of July 27.
The forum panel was composed of DG Martinez; Director William Mayo of the Philippine Motion Picture Directors’ Association; Isabel Sebullen, president of the Screenwriters’ Guild of the Philippines; Director Edgardo ‘Boy’ Vinarao, board member of MOWELFUND; Doming Zape, vice-president of the Motion Picture Audio Society of the Philippines, Inc.;
Pablo Vergara, vice-president of the United Film Musical Directors Association of the Philippines; Isagani Sioson, president of the Filipino Society of Cinematographers; Joel Apuyan, president of the Assistant Director-Production Managers Guild of the Philippines; Tom Torres, also of ADPM; and Rez Cortez, chaiman of the Katipunan ng mga Artistang Pilipino sa Pelikula at Telebisyon.
DG Martinez decided to elaborate on the various aspects on how to achieve a worker-friendly movie industry after FAP Day and released this point-by-point manifesto.
Worker-friendly in the sense that the workers’ innate talents are rewarded and their property rights respected
This will necessitate agreements with producers for a royalty scheme for the workers.
Worker-friendly in the sense that the workers’ continuing skills development is provided
This will entail the Implementation of a comprehensive continuing education program for the creative and technical guilds. The need right now is continuous and fixed funding to ensure that the education program can be maintained year after year, with validation being done at certain phases of the program. This also entails the provision of fund and equipment support for individual guilds’ development programs.
The Academy has time and again requested fund support from government officials, including senators and congressmen, who have the pork barrel funds for education programs and acquisition of equipment for training purposes.
Specially with the fast-developing technology in filmmaking, the acquisition of current film production equipment is vital and necessary to upgrade the skills of our film editors, cinematographers and sound technicians..
Worker-friendly in the sense that workers are protected from unfair competition and unfair working conditions
This entails agreements with producers on working hours, accommodations and quality of meals for our workers in the field.
Worker-friendly in the sense that workers’ basic needs are provided
This will focus on housing for film workers which may involve a Bahay Kalinga type of housing and community building for these workers. Most film workers earn only when there are projects available. When the work atmosphere is thin, they suffer for lack of income. Most of them are not even owners of their own houses. A project can be entered into that will provide housing for film workers for the next three years, with 150 beneficiary families per year. A P3M fund support from each actor-senators could help start this project.
Worker-friendly in the sense that workers’ intelligence and judgment are respected
This will eventually calls for self-regulation instead of censorship of movies. This will also entail the strengthening of the peer-recognition and peer-selection system in the FAP Luna awards.
Worker-friendly in the sense that FAP’s financial capabilities are strengthened and thus redound to the individual working guilds’ development
This will call for a congressional amendment to empower the movie industry, through the Mowelfund or the Academy, to run the annual Metropolitan Manila Film Festival.
The Academy will also work to revert to 30% its share of the MMFF, to enact a piso para sa industriya add-on on cinema ticket prices and to collect its shares of the cultural tax in Metro Manila theaters and cinemas.
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