Bills seeking cash incentives for artists, preservation of film heritage filed

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 03 2022 05:50 PM

People attend the reopening of the Cultural Center of the Philippines during the screening of “A Thousand Cuts” in this November 5, 2021 file photo. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News.
People attend the reopening of the Cultural Center of the Philippines during the screening of “A Thousand Cuts” in this November 5, 2021 file photo. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News.

MANILA — Bills seeking to preserve our film heritage and provide cash incentives for artists were filed Wednesday with an aim to boost the entertainment industry.

Leyte Rep. Richard Gomez filed House Bill No. 936, which aims to "preserve the country's film heritage and promote cinematographic arts and building in compliance with the constitutional provision mandating the government to protect and save the nation's film reservoir." 

Gomez noted that other than the establishment of a film archive as mandated under Republic Act No. 9167, or the law which created the Film Development Council of the Philippines, "not much has been done along the line of protecting and conserving our film reservoir, understandably due to the usual problems of funding constraints and lack of technical expertise and storage infrastructural facilities." 

The lawmaker said thousands of Filipino films have been lost due to a lack of systematic identification, preservation, and restoration efforts. 

"This bill is premised on that hope or chance, no matter how slim and diminishing, that some copies of 'lost' Filipino classics may still be traced, acquired, and preserved for the benefit of our present and future generations," Gomez said. 

He added: "The film industry is much more than a commercial enterprise designed for public entertainment. Cinematic films mirror the human and social conditions, dramatize the people's struggles towards total liberation, and enhance our understanding and appreciation of our social values and national identity." 

Meanwhile, Gomez said House Bill No. 1428 seeks to “provide the much-needed spark for the Filipino artists to excel in their own chosen field” by giving cash incentives and non-monetary benefits to actors, who bring pride and honor to the country when they win in international competitions.

“This proposed legislation would be a step closer in the right direction in making the arts a respectable and decent source of livelihood for our artists,” Gomez said. 

He hopes that the measure would “rectify, to a limited extent, the decades of neglect, discrimination and sometimes even opprobrium suffered by artists in a society which prides itself as being democratic and labels itself as humane."