Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada introduced a bill to transfer the organization, operation and management of the Metro Manila Film Festival from the Metro Manila Development Authority to the Movie Workers’ Welfare Foundation (MOWELFUND). It was officially filed on January 31, 2008.
Docketed as Senate Bill 2041, the proposal is titled as: An Act Transferring the Organization, Operation and Management of the Metro Manila Film Festival from the Metro Manila Development Authority to the Movie Workers Welfare Foundation (MOWELFUND), and Providing Funds therefor and for Other Purposes.
The explanatory note for the filing of the bill is reprinted in full:
Every year, controversy hounds the operation and management of the Metro Manila Film Festival. The original proceeds of the MMFF income which benefit the Movie Workers Welfare Foundation (MOWELFUND), the Film Academy of the Philippines and the Motion Picture Anti-Film Piracy Council, are now being shared by other government agencies (i.e. Film Development Council of the Philippines and Optical Media Board) that are merely on-lookers in terms of operations of the MMFF. The proceeds can still be given to other government agencies at the discretion of the President of the Philippines.
The root cause of this controversy is that the yearly implementor and organizer of the MMFF, which is the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), does not come from the movie and film industry and as such, cannot relate to the real sentiments of the people working with the industry. The MMDA, in the first place, has no legal basis to operate and manage the MMFF as its charter, RA 7924 is silent on the matter. The predecessor of the MMDA, the Metropolitan Manila Commission, by tradition, manages the operation of the MMFF, but this function was not carried in the present MMDA charter.
In order that the movie and film industry flourish and to address the recurring controversies every year, it is just but proper that the organization, operation and management of the Metro Manila Film Festival be transferred to the Movie Workers Welfare Foundation (MOWELFUND) and the original beneficiaries of the MMFF, with the proper allocation of proceeds, be retained.
The senate bill calls for the creation of an executive committee under the MOWELFUND to take charge of the organization, operation and management of the MMFF with the MOWELFUND executive director as chairperson. One representative each from the different guilds under the Film Academy of the Philippines will serve as members, together with the Chief of the PNP.
Section 5 of the Senate Bill stipulates that the net income of the annual Metropolitan Manila Film Festival shall be distributed to the following traditional beneficiaries: MOWELFUND, 40 percent; FAP, 40 percent; and Anti-Film Piracy Council, 20 percent.
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