Film Academy of the Philippine Director General Leo G. Martinez reiterated his request to Chairman Francis N. Tolentino of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority to answer the letter the FAP forwarded to him last October 14 seeking clarification regarding the Commission on Audit report on the 2002-2008 MMFF funds managed by MMDA.
In effect, FAP requested that Chairman Tolentino follow the ruling of COA in 2010 to deposit in trust the amusement tax collected during the festival period.
There are two sources of income during the MMFF, the amusement tax and the price increase (non-tax revenue) and the COA report alleged the amount turned over to beneficiaries (which include FAP, Mowelfund, FDCP, Optical Media Board and Anti-Film Piracy Council) from 2002 to 2008 was P82.787 million short.
The October 14 FAP letter to Chairman Tolentino, as signed by DG Martinez, explained:
“It is in this connection that we are bringing up our long standing request for MMDA to recognize and implement the Commission on Audit’s findings and recommendations based on a September 2009 special audit it conducted of the MMFF Funds for CYs 2002-2008 as managed by the MMDA. One of its findings is that the MMFF disbursed amounts out of the amusement tax proceeds of the MMFF to the detriment of the intended beneficiaries, resulting in a much decreased percentage of the total fund being divided among the recipients. COA cited this is a violation of MMC EO 86-09 pertaining to the donation of all amuse- taxes during the ten day period that should accrue to the MMFF Executive Committee as Trustee pending identification of beneficiaries.
“Simply said, the MMFF has been charging expenses against the amusement tax collection which should not be used for other intentions except for sharing by beneficiaries.
“In spite of the COA findings and despite our constant effort to remind the MMDA/MMFF management about this, the MMFF still continues to deplete the amusement tax proceeds by charging festival expenses against it. What is deplorable is that the amount of festival expenses keep growing so that even as the income from the amusement tax keep getting bigger every year, the beneficiaries’ shares continue to dwindle even more.
“We are asking once again for MMDA/MMFF managements to respect the COA finding and desist from this uncaring practice of using the amusement tax proceed to run the festival activities. For once, we would like the beneficiaries to get the rightful shares due us.”
(The COA report re FYs 2002-2008 is hereby reprinted)
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