Chiz Escudero Asks Tax Relief for Local Movie Industry

Article excerpt

Genuine Opposition (GO) senatorial candidate Francis "Chiz" Escudero has assured the local movie leaders that he will work for the granting of tax holidays for the movie industry, the most heavily taxed industry in the Philippines!

Escudero made the statement during a press conference held Monday and sponsored in his behalf by top movie producer Mother Lily of the Regal Entertainment Inc. at the Imperial Palace Suites.

Mother Lily, veteran movie producer with a track record of blockbuster and award winning movies, has also "adopted" Escudero as a "Regal Baby" even as she expressed support for his candidacy for the Senate.

Mother Lily said of him: "I believe that Chiz will make a good senator because he has prepared for it and he worked hard as a congressman, I think it is time that we have a young breed of legislators like Chiz in the Senate."

Mother Lily also described Chiz as intelligent, charming and charismatic.

The 37-year-old Chiz studied at the University of the Philippines since elementary and finished his political science and law studies in 1993. He took his masters in international and comparative law at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC in 1995-1996.

As representative of the 1st District of Sorsogon, he authored 34 bills of national application, 31 bills of local application, and 15 resolutions.

Of the local movie industry, Rep. Escudero said: "It is outrageous the way the government treats the local movie industry. We offer transnational companies all kinds of tax holidays, but we are killing a home grown industry with taxes. And yet unlike these pampered foreign films, the movie industry does not repatriate its profits abroad."

The local movie industry is burdened with a 30-percent amusement tax, five-percent withholding tax on the producer's film share, and 32-percent corporate income tax.

Escudero added: "And as if the burden were not heavy enough, the government also slapped the producer another 10 percent in value-added tax on his or her share."

He also said that in other countries, the movie industry pays either amusement tax or VAT, but not both.

He noted that despite the difficulty, the local movie industry excels, winning awards in various competitions abroad, where it is pitted against high-budget film. It is also carving a nich among foreign audiences, in addition of course to Filipino expatriates.

"The least the government can do is to create a climate where the industry could thrive," Escudero stressed.

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