Quezon City Mayor Feliciano R. Belmonte Jr. vowed to pursue more programs that will benefit the local film industry even as he expressed hope that these programs will be replicated in other cities and towns in the country.
The mayor made this assurance before a gathering of Quezon City elected and appointed officials and leaders of various groups in the local film industry. The chairpersons of two national agencies—the Optical Media Board and the Movie & Television Rating and Clasification Board – also attended the luncheon affair hosted by the film industry sector.
Also present were the four congressmen of Q.C.
Plaques of appreciation were given to Mayor Belmonte, Vice-Mayor Herbert M. Bautista, Majority Floor Leader Councilor Antonio E. Inton Jr., and the city council of Q.C. specifically for the passage of Ordinance SP-1718 which removed the 15 percent amusement taxes imposed on local films.
The plaques were signed by Roesholm Camaligan, president of the Movie Industry Anti-Piracy Organization, Inc.; Manuel M. Nuqui, president of the Prodyuser ng mga Pelikulang Pilipino sa Asya, Inc.; Wilson Tieng, president of the Movie Produicers and Distributors Association of the Philippines; and Ng Meng Tam, president of the National Cinema Association of the Philippiines, Inc.
Mayor Belmonte said that the city government also passed measures to strengthen the anti-film piracy programs as well the formation of the Q.C. Film Development Council which will undertake a comprehensive program to further assist the ailing film industry.
He said the city officials, from mayor down to the division chiefs, are well aware of the prolems besetting the industry, including piracy and excessive taxes.
Leaders of the film industry who attended the gathering included Film Academy of the Philippines Chairman Atty. Espiridion Laxa and Director General Leo G. Martinez; Leonardo Monteverde, chairman of the Anti-Piracy organization; William Lao and Dominic Du, vice-presidents of the anti-piracy organization; and producers Robbie Tan of Seiko Films, Malou Santos of Star Cinema and Lily Montervede of Regal Entertainment Inc.
Chairman Edu Manzano of OMB and Chairperson Consoliza Laguardia of MTRCB also graced the occasion. Congressmen Mat Defensor and Bingbong Crisologo and Congresswomen Nanette Castelo Daza and Susano were also there.
Atty. Laxa, during his introduction to the mayor, said that gatherings like this should always be held to provide constant dialogues between the city officials and the people of the local film industry.