Sen. Bong Revilla rushing 10% reduction on entertainment tax
By BOY VILLASANTA
Senator and action star Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. is doing all he can to rush the approval of a bill he sponsored, which seeks to reduce the amount of taxes being paid by the entertainment industry.
Revilla said that film, television, concerts and other shows are heavily taxed, pointing out that producers pay as much as 30 percent of their earnings for taxes. Revilla's bill, if approved, will reduce entertainment taxes to only 10 percent.
“One of the problems of the local movie industry, in particular, is the soaring taxes on all resources especially on the part of the producers. You see, the investors pour in money to filmmaking but aside from piracy which cripples the entertainment products like films, they are heavily taxed. More and more producers are backing out because of this,” said Revilla.
Revilla, who has his own Imus Productions (started by his father, Ramon Sr., who was also a senator), said his own hardships as a producer convinced him that high taxes keep the quality of Philippine entertainment down.
"How can these producers offer more quality, globally competitive products if we don't reduce the taxes levied on them?” he asked, noting that keeping entertainment taxes high is already killing the movie industry.
Quezon City model
Perhaps the national government can look into the zero tax policy of Quezon City. The city imposes no taxes on all entertainment productions and also supports the entertainment industry in several ways.
During the graduation rites of the Shining Stars Acting Workshop Saturday afternoon at the Amoranto Theater in Quezon City, Mayor Sonny Belmonte explained why he maintains the tax exemption.
A total of forty students finished a summer acting workshop facilitated by directors Celso Ad. Castillo, Mel Chionglo, Rudy Meyer, Tony Cruz and Soxie Topacio.
Most of the graduates are already assured of jobs in films and television shows.
“I believe in the power of the arts to inspire people so I guess entertainment tax being zeroed is very potent in its development. I can safely say that my constituents are very happy about this development,” Belmonte said.
Belmonte added that he has been a supporter of local entertainment as long as it is for the betterment of the lives of the Filipinos.
“I am a movie addict myself. I watch movies during my spare time. Even if my schedule is very hectic, I see to it that I am entertained by movies especially to lighten up my day,” confessed the mayor.
Belmonte's second in command, vice-mayor Herbert Bautista, was also a popular actor before going into politics.
Belmonte also pointed out that the tag "City of Stars" which was proposed by veteran TV host and actor German Moreno some years ago, was first adopted by Quezon City.
Quezon City is also home to the Walk of Fame projects by Moreno. The projects--Quezon City's answer to Hollywood's Walk of Fame--are all situated in the city namely Mowelfund near Balete Drive and in Eastwood in Libis.