If elected in the Senate in the upcoming midterm elections, veteran broadcast journalist Jiggy Manicad said that he will push for tax cuts for films of “high cultural and historical value” to encourage the production of quality films promoting patriotism and the proliferation of Filipino culture and arts.
“Films like 'Heneral Luna' should be spared from taxes. Movies like that touch the consciousness of a lot of Filipinos and contribute significant value in terms of our history, culture, and identity. We need more of them,” Manicad explained in the sidelines of his sortie in Laguna on Saturday.
“Other countries are already doing this. They have a tax break for films promoting the country’s dialects, tradition, and history and are able to preserve these through film. Bakit hindi natin magawa din ‘yun dito?” Manicad, whose platform consists of promoting patriotism among Filipinos, quipped.
The multi-awarded reporter cited the example of Ireland which provides tax credits to films that pass a “Cultural Test” administered by a local agency of culture and heritage.
“Films and television shows can apply for tax credits if they conform to certain criteria. Is the movie an important contribution to the promotion of national culture? Is the movie done in the local language? Is the movie mainly set in the Philippines and does it have main characters that are connected with Filipino culture? Does the film tackle historical subjects, relevant socio-political issues, local arts, and traditions?” the neophyte senatorial candidate explained.
“These are just some of the aspects to consider if we pass legislation for this,” he added.
According to Manicad, relieving movies from taxes will allow their makers to spend more on the quality of the production. With limited budgets, recent historical films such as “Heneral Luna” and “Goyo” remain independently-made.
The broadcast journalist is also promoting a “culture hour” on national television to advance peace and understanding of the country’s diverse cultures.
“Nais ko sana magkaroon ng tinatawag ng “culture hour”,” he shared.
“Ibig sabihin, kung highly-commercialized ang media natin ngayon, magkaroon lang ng isang oras kada linggo na programa na makatutulong para makilala natin ang kultura natin at makilala ang iba’t ibang rehiyon na mayroon tayo. Gusto rin natin na magkaroon tayo ng pagkakaintindihan bilang isang bansa,” Manicad said.
These proposals, Manicad said, will provide a windfall of benefits - including economic gains - for the country.
“Dapat agresibo tayo sa pagsusulong sa kulturang Pinoy. Of course, we want to instill pride and importance in our culture and history, but we can also gain economically from this,” the journalist explained.
“Look at the success of Japan, of Korea. If we allow our best filmmakers to save millions of pesos in taxes, we can think of that as an investment in making Pinoy culture a globally-renowned brand,” Manicad added.