A delegation from the Film Academy of the Philippines led by Director General Leo G. Martinez and several guild presidents and members conferred with Quezon City Mayor Herbert ‘Bistek’ Bautista at the City Hall of Quezon City last Monday, March 17.
In the meeting, Mayor Bautista vowed to support and assist the Academy regarding several issues that included the sharing of the amusement tax rebate during the Metro Manila Film Festival and ongoing discussions with the Department of Labor and Employment on working conditions of film industry workers.
The FAP thanked the Mayor and the City Council for adopting a resolution supporting the transfer of the management of the MMFF to the film industry.
The mayor in turn was informed about the impending committee hearing in the House of Representatives being requested by Rep. Amado Bagatsing re the MMFF. He was also apprised that the 2009 special audit findings of the Commission on Audit that the MMDA release of the amusement tax shares to the beneficiaries from 2002 to 2008 was short of P81 million and that in a recent meeting with COA officials, the Academy was assured that the findings still stand.
In this connection, the mayor was asked about the feasibility of the Q.C. government to release directly to the beneficiaries the amusement tax collected during the MMFF.
Regarding other matters, the FAP requested Mayor Bautista in his capacity as president of the League of City Mayors of the Philippines to help the Academy clarify the matter of the cultural tax share of FAP to the other mayors of Metro Manila and other key cities throughout the country and to direct donation of the amusement tax share to the beneficiaries.
Mayor Bautista suggested to the delegation to coordinate and seek the assistance of Q.C. 5th district Rep. Alfred Vargas re the legislative agenda discussed during the meeting.
He also mentioned that MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino has requested him to set up a meeting with FAP officials probably by April.
In other matters, Director-General Martinez reported the drafting of a Roadmap for the Film Industry in coordination with the Department of Trade and Industry and BOI. Likewise, the FAP proposed that the Linggo ng Wika yearly celebration in Quezon City feature the showing of Sine Panitik films which will adapt classic literary masterpieces included in the curriculum of high school and college courses.
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