Manila Mayor Alfredo S. Lim turned over to officials of the Film Academy of the Philippines a check for P2,113,624.75 representing the share of the academy in the 25 centavo cultural development tax collected by movie houses for admission tickets in Manila retroactive to the year 1992.
This was in line with the recommendation of City Legal Officer Renato G. de la Cruz to remit directly to the Academy its cultural tax beginning January this year. Mayor Lim even ordered that the remittance be pushed further retroactively to the year 1992—the year the local government units stopped remitting the proceeds of the cultural tax to the then Metropolitan Manila Commission.
The mayor turned over the check to FAP Director General Leo G. Martinez and Chairman Espiridion D. Laxa in brief ceremonies at the Manila City Hall on Monday, July 14, in the presence of other FAP officials, like Wilson Tieng, MPIDAP president, William Mayo, Pablo Gomez, Manny Morfe, Jose Carreon and Alex Socorro.
In a meeting with FAP officials last June 8, Mayor Lim approved the recommen-dation of the city legal officer to remit the FAP share from the cultural tax and promised to turn over a check even as early as Friday, June 11.
The Landbank check was dated Juy 10, 2008 and was signed by City Treasurer Erlinda O. Mareja and City Administrator Jesus Mari P. Marzan.
From left, City Treasurer Erlinda Mareja, Mayor Fred Lim, film producer Wilson Tieng, Atty. Espiridion Laxa of the Film Academy, FAP Director General Leo Martinez and Pablo Gomez.
The MMC passed an ordinance in 1979 setting up the Cultural Development Fund to be derived from the 25 centavo levy on all admission tickets of movie houses in Metro Manila. Amendatory MMC Ordinance 84-03 allocated the proceeds from the cultural development tax as follows: 30% to the Cultural Center of the Philippines; 20% to the Film Academy of the Philippines; 20% to the Experimental Cinema of the Philippines and 30% to be retained by MMC.
The MMC remitted the funds to the beneficiaries for several years but with the enactment of the Local Government Code in 1992, the MMC declared that government units were to remit the shares directly to the beneficiaries. The last remittance to beneficiaries was in May, 1985.
But it appears that since January 1992, the local government units stopped remitting the cultural tax to the MMC even if the cultural development tax continued to be collected by movie houses.
In ruling on the issue whether the City of Manila must remit the share of the FAP, City Legal Officer de la Cruz ruled in the affirmative.
Atty. Laxa, Mayor Lim, Manny Morfe, Leo Martinez and Wilson Tieng
Atty. de la Cruz stated: “While it is true that the cultural tax was imposed by the defunct MMC, the obligation of movie houses to pay continued and continues to date, and the sharing arrangement among the beneficiaries named in MMC Ord. No. 84-03 remained the same in the absence of a repealing statute of law.
“More important, even RA No. 7160 (Local Government Code) has not repealed the said MMC Ord. No. 84-03.
“True, Sec. 140 of the Local Government Code imposes an amusement tax of 30% on gross receipts from admission fees. However, the cultural development tax under the MMC ordinance is different in that, it is a P.25 fixed tax on
admission tickets regardless of their costs.”
Martinez said that with the favorable ruling and action of Mayor Lim and his legal officer, the FAP will be able to convince other cities and towns of Metropolitan Manila to remit the Academy’s share of the cultural tax. “Hopefully, retroactive also to 1992,” Martinez added.
For the video of the turnover rites, please click the following youtube link:
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