The Social Fund of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has released P1.5 million to finance the ongoing projects of the Film Academy of the Philippines.
The amount is the second tranche of a P3 million subsidy approved by President Macapagal-Arroyo through the Presidential Management Staff in mid-2007.
Secretary Cerge Remonde of the PMS explained that like the 2006 subsidy, the amount was handed over to the academy in two tranches of P1.5 million each.
It will be remembered that President Macapagal-Arroyo also approved a P3 million subsidy from her social fund in May 2006 to help the Academy stay afloat in the face of budgetary difficulties brought about by the substantial slash in its share from the Metro Manila Film Festival earnings.
The first P1.5 million tranche of the 2007 social fund subsidy, together with the P1.3 million share the academy received as its share of the 2006 Metro Manila Filmfest earnings, kept the academy going for the entire 2007.
The FAP was getting its 30% share of the filmfest earnings for the past several years before 2006. This was drastically cut to 10% two years ago, setting off the budgetary constraints that hobbled the academy.
But the Academy has so far received only P600,000 as its share of the 2007 Metro Filmfest amusement tax rebates, which is just half of the total share it got last year.
FAP Director Martinez emphasized that the new P1.5 million tranche will take care of the 26th Luna Awards which will be held on August 30, 2008. The Academy citers will be wrapping up their work of reviewing films by Monday, June 30.
Also last January, during the Metro Manila Filmfest awards night, the Academy received P900,000 from the same Social Fund of the President.
A second tranche will be forthcoming after the first P900,000 amount is fully liquidated.
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