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DILG: Amusement tax moratorium ‘big step’ to help film industry

MANILA: Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos has lauded the Metro Manila Council (MMC) for granting a three-year moratorium on amusement taxes, saying it is big step to revive the Filipino film industry.

‘I am glad that the MMC responded affirmatively to our call. Malaking bagay po na kami po ay inyong pinakinggan dahil ito ay isang malaking hakbang para makatulong sa ating pelikulang Pilipino (It is a welcome development that you listened to us because this is a big step to help our Filipino film industry),’ Abalos said in a statement on Saturday.

According to Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Acting Chairperson Don Artes, the National Capital Region (NCR) local government units (LGUs) will ratify their ordinances in support of the resolution passed by the MMC to waive amusement tax for Filipino movies screened in Metro Manila from Jan. 8 to Dec. 24 in the next three years.

The move was in accordance with Section 140 of the Local Government Code of 1991 st
ating, among others, that the province may levy an amusement tax to be collected from the proprietors, lessees, or operators of theaters, cinemas and concert halls.

They also include circuses, boxing stadia, and other places of amusement at a rate of not more than 10 percent of the gross receipts from the admission fees.

Abalos described the resolution as a timely response to the appeal of local filmmakers, and a critical step to boost the film industry and ensure the production of quality films in the country.

He likewise urged other LGUs around the country to follow suit.

‘Sana hindi sa Metro Manila lamang. Sana pati sa ibang bahagi ng Pilipinas ay ma-lift ang amusement tax (Hopefully not only in Metro Manila. I hope the amusement tax will be lifted in other parts of the country as well),’ Abalos said.

Last January, Abalos gathered some of the biggest movie producers in the local movie industry together with Film Development Council of the Philippines Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer Tirso Cruz
III to discuss the lingering issues of local film producers.

During the said meeting, Abalos urged LGUs to grant a tax holiday for the next three years waiving the amusement tax of local movies in aid of struggling Filipino movie producers.

Source: Philippines News Agency