Tuesday, January 27, 2009

News from Concerto in Cebu

We just learned about the Cebu tax issue on FDCP graded films. Other filmmakers should take note.

We truly learning a lot about independent film producing here in the Philippines. Its challenging :-)

Cebu Daily News

No automatic tax cut for ‘Concerto’ movie

1/23/09 By Marian Z. Codilla, Reporter
A PRODUCER of critically acclaimed movie “Concerto: Davao War Diary” has discovered that the Cebu City government does not follow a national law that grants tax exemptions for profits from top-quality films

Cebu City Administrator Francisco Fernandez confirmed that City Hall typically does not implement Republic Act 9167 because the city government doubts the law’s constitutionality.
“Here in Cebu (City), we give exemptions based on the decision of the Cebu City Council. This is a case-to-case basis. We find the law violates the constitution. That is why we are not implementing it,” Fernandez said.
R.A. 9167 is the act that created the Film Development Council of the Philippines, which is tasked to review and grade films based on their quality.
The law grants an amusement tax reward for films graded “A” or “B” by the film council’s Cinema Evaluation Board. Grade A films are awarded a 100-percent exemption from the amusement tax, while grade B films enjoy a 65-percent discount on the tax.
Viking Logarta, Cebuano consulting producer of the independent film “Concerto” said he was disheartened when the film’s producers discovered that the city did not automatically grant a full tax exemption, considering the film was given grade A status by the Film Development Council of the Philippines.
“The Cebu City government – the only one in the whole country – has questioned the constitutionality of R.A. 9167 and has chosen to ignore the law in the meantime,” Logarta said.
Fernandez advised Logarta to write a letter to the City Council so that a full tax exemption for the film could be discussed in the council’s next session on Wednesday.

Fernandez said it was likely that the producers of Concerto would be granted a full exemption since the film qualifies under the conditions set by the city, including conditions that at least one producer of the film must be Cebuano, and that the film must be educational.
Fernandez said producers of other well-graded films also have to convince the City Council before these could be given amusement tax exemptions.

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