MANILA – Senator Juan Edgardo ‘Sonny’ Angara has filed a bill giving tax incentives to filmmakers who promote the country’s tourism by using selected provinces in their movie settings.
Under his Senate Bill No. 2160 or the Fostering Investment through Local and International Movies (FILM) Act, Angara seeks to attract filmmakers by providing tax incentives, and to empower the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) to provide additional benefits.
“We should encourage more filmmakers to feature different parts of the country and showcase their beauty and culture to effectively promote Philippine tourism,” Angara said.
The lawmaker from Aurora province said the influx of tourists in Sagada in Mountain Province due to the movie ‘That Thing Called Tadhana’ should extend to other tourist destinations in the Philippines.
Angara, vice chairman of the Senate committee on tourism, said eligible local and international productions may be granted 20-percent tax credits if the final product is set completely or largely within the Philippines, or if at least half of filming occurs in a community here in the country that is still recovering from a significant natural disaster.
The Department of Tourism shall provide the FDCP with a list of locations it is promoting while the National Commission for Culture and the Arts shall be the resource for filmmakers for Filipino culture, traditions and values.
The FDCP will also be responsible in ensuring that environmental regulations are properly adhered to by production companies in the process of filming.
Aside from tax credits, the bill also seeks to provide additional incentives such as exemptions from all fees for or associated with filming permits, free access to public lands, free police protection, free and expedited work visas, and a designated liaison.
Similarly, according to recent reports, Mexican officials offered up to USD 20 million in tax incentives to Sony Pictures and MGM so that Mexico, where the iconic opening scene of the new James Bond movie, Spectre, takes place, will be shown in positive light.
“We must recognize the potential of film tourism to grow the economy and raise the nation’s international profile. By boosting the country’s film tourism, tourist arrivals will increase which would lead to more jobs and opportunities especially for the locals,” Angara said.
Meanwhile, Angara has joined the call for the public to become more responsible tourists and has urged local government units to come up with a sustainable tourism plan to address the issues brought by the sudden influx of tourists such as shortage in occupancy and water supply, and traffic.
Aside from ‘Tadhana,” other recent local movies that have promoted tourism in their setting are “You’re My Boss” which was shot mostly in Batanes, and “She’s Dating the Gangster” and “Crazy Beautiful You” which showed the majestic view of Mount Mayon and Mount Pinatubo.