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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Feb 14, 2014

Rep. Lito Atienza Files Bill To Give Local Movies Five-Year Tax Holiday

WE’D LIKE TO commend Rep. Lito Atienza for introducing House Bill No. 3840 or the Philippine Film Industry Tax Holiday Act of 2014. It aims to help the ailing local film industry by giving it a tax exemption for five years. “Our film industry used to be one of the busiest in the world producing up to 300 films a year,” he says. “Now, only a few local films are produced and make profit. Our viewers are more aware of foreign films than local ones. The rising cost of film production make it harder for new companies to invest in the industry so we need to give subsidies and tax break so local films can bounce back and be competitive one more. My bill will seek a five-year tax holiday for the purchase of film equipment, production and exhibition of films to help the industry recover and improve with the entry of new producers. The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) and the Dept. of Finance shall formulate guidelines for the implementation of this act.”

We believe all people involved in the industry, including actors, directors and technical people, should push for the approval of this bill. There are actors in congress who should actively support it, like Lani Mercado, Lucy Torres, etc.

Rep. Atienza also introduced House Bill 3839 that aims to limit the showing of foreign TV shows or teleseryes on primetime. He believes only local TV shows should be shown on primetime (6 to 10 PM) to make sure viewers would give preference to homegrown shows. Foreign teleseryes like Koreanovelas, Mexicanovelas, etc. can still be shown, but not on primetime.

Rep. Atienza is one lawmaker who opposed PDAF or pork barrel. “I denounced it and some of my colleagues reacted,” he says. “Bakit ka nandito kung ayaw mo pala ng pork barrel? I told them, nandito ako para gumawa ng batas, hindi para kumita sa pork barrel.”

He’s also diligently present during each session of congress. There was a time he was photographed when he was the only one present. “Sessions start at 4 PM pero usually, late yung iba. Tapos after the roll call, aalis na sila. I always call their attention kasi wala kaming quorum. Paano namin magagawa ang trabaho namin kung walang quorum?”

We should really have more conscientious lawmakers like him who also has put up his own orphanage called Home for Angels in San Andres that now has 425 wards. This is where writer Ambet Nabus got his son Neeyong who’s celebrating his 3rd birthday party this Sunday at MacDonald’s. Happy birthday!