The Film Academy of the Philippines has transferred to the newly-created Philippine Film Export Services Office (PFESO) all official functions related to the issuance of letters of endorsement and certificates of compliance for foreign filmmakers and workers producing films in the country.
The Academy had a standing memorandum of agreement with the Bureau of Immigration—signed on October 5, 2005—which provided for the coordination between the the FAP and the BI on matters concerning foreign filmmakers, artists and workers.
These foreign individuals are required to secure Special Work Permit (SWP) from the BI before they can work in the country. The Academy was tasked to issue the official letters of endorsement and certificates of compliance for submission to the Immigration Bureau.
FAP Director General Leo G. Martinez met with PFESO Executive Director Digna Santiago last Tuesday, February 5 to thresh out the transfer of functions.
In the memorandum of agreement with the BI, the FAP was mandated to:
–Coordinate with local and foreign producers who intend to bring in foreign film artists and workers to the Philippines, regarding BI and FAP requirements.
–Ensure strict compliance with all permits, licenses and payment of city, municipal or entertainment taxes.
–Issue an official Letter of Endorsement and Certificate of Compliance in favor of the applicant-producers upon completion of requirements. At least three copies shall be made, one addressed to the Commissioner of BI, one for the applicant, and one for FAP files. Said documents musty be processed and submitted to the BI at least three weeks before the arrival of the performing entourage.
–Monitor and report any and all violations by producers, foreign film artists and workers or venues to the BI for the proper action.
Director General Martinez explained that PFESO will be amenable to convince foreign producers to accommodate local film artists and workers who are invariably members of the different guilds under the umbrella supervision of the Film Academy whose services might be needed.
The PFESO– created by Executive Order 674 which was signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on October 30 last year—is mandated to maximize the country’s comparative advantage as a location site for international movie and television making to generate income, promote tourism and enhance the image of the country abroad.
The members of the PFESO, aside from Executive Director Digna Santiago, are the following:
Eva Adan of the Dept. of Tourism; Director Jason T. Lao of the Dept. of Trade and Industry; Asst. Secretary Brian Raymond Yamsuan of the Dept. of the Interior & Local Government; Marina Agustin of the Dept. of National Defense; Zorahaida Dela Cruz of the Bureau of Internal Revenue;
Bureau of Customs Deputy Commissioner Gregorio Chavez; Atty. Norman Tansingco of the Bureau of Immigration; Manny Morfe of the Film Academy of the Philippines;
FDCP Executive Director Marinella F. Suzara; Jun Juban, a resource representative of the FDCP; and three private sector representatives, namely, Elaine Lozano of GMA Films, Manet Dayrit of Roadrunner and Lori delos Reyes of the International Press Center.
The executive assistant is April C. Espinosa.
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