Imee Marcos pushes for a new Creative Industry charter

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Ilocos Norte Governor Imee R. Marcos wants to rationalize and expand what she calls the “outdated, conflicting and inadequate legislation” governing the Philippine entertainment industry today.

In the run up to the Metro Manila Film Festival this December, Gov Marcos said there is an urgent need to restructure the guidelines, parameters and philosophy embracing the country’s creative profession into one overarching framework as part of nation building.

The charter she envisions will encompass not only the traditional radio, film and television media but also new platforms such as games and toys development, social media and digital communications.

It will also update and streamline the various agencies operating as regulatory bodies such as the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, and Optical Media Board.

“At a time when both legitimate productions and wholesale piracy are electronic, our laws remain analog,” Gov Marcos said. “We need to initiate a system of incentives not only for quality films but also for those who receive awards and recognition from local and international film festivals.”

She added that athletes and students who win abroad are given cash and other rewards, yet “we ignore film makers, song writers and furniture designers.”

Gov. Marcos also believes that a review of the burdensome tax rates being levied against movie producers is also necessary.

“Clearly, the importation and tax structures are serious disincentives to growth and productivity which are important to what should be a burgeoning sector in Philippine economic development,” the Governor said.

Film making equipment, game consoles and other requisites are heavily taxed to be even affordable by professionals and producers, she added.

The lady governor also says the role of local government units has to be recognized in monitoring and enhancing art and entertainment in the countryside. She cites Isabelas Banchetto Film Festival, Ilocos Norte’s Media Incentive Ordinance, and Baguio’s Creative City tag as examples.

“The digital world continues to be unlegislated. Clearly, it is a work in progress but it is a job that we need to embark on quickly and effectively. At the end of the day, the Filipino may not be the world’s athlete, or be the grossly-disadvantaged scientist, but we can’t be contested as the world’s artist. It is time that we address this unique, God-given talent,” she said.

Marcos, who served as Director General of the Experimental Cinema of the Philippines in 1981 to 1986, produced several critically-acclaimed films (Himala, Oro Plata Mata, Soltero) which are now considered as Filipino movie classics. She is also credited as producer of popular child-oriented TV shows Kaluskos Musmos and Kulit Bulilit in the 70s and 80s.