Press Release
August 6, 2007


Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. is confident that the film industry in the country will finally get a break with the Senate leadership endorsing a reduction in the amusement tax.

"I'm glad that the Senate President supports my advocacy by filing a similar bill that I had filed before. This is will add certainty that the long-awaited decrease in amusement tax will finally be achieved by our film industry," Revilla said.

The lawmaker from Cavite is referring to a bill filed by Senate President Manny Villar that seeks to lower the amusement tax to 10 percent from the present 30 percent.

The Amusement Tax Bill was one of the major bills filed by Revilla during the previous Congress. He refiled it this 14th Congress under Senate Bill 1428 which aims to amend the section 140 of Republic Act (RA) 7160, otherwise known as the "Local Government Code of 1991".

Revilla noted that the movie industry is "debilitated" by the collection of two taxes on ticket sales- the one imposed by the national government and the other by local government units (LGUs).

He explained that LGUs collect amusement tax on admission to theaters to the rate of 30% of its gross receipts. Also under RA 9337 or the E-VAT law, the Bureau of International Revenue (BIR) collects further 10% on the same gross receipts.

"In order to alleviate the hardships of the industry, there must be a commensurate lowering of its tax burden. This bill proposes to put a ceiling of ten percent on the amusement tax. This may be the last chance and maybe the only hope of a dying industry," Revilla reasoned out.

The viability of the cinema theater industry is now under threat due to continuous operational losses brought mainly by two reasons: low patronage and high taxation.

Both theater owners and local movie producers are greatly prejudices by cheaper home movie alternatives such as TV and cable programs, as well as by rampant film piracy which turns out inexpensive and untaxed films in VCD and DVD formats. This severely undercuts the cost of movie tickets at present.

"The delay in the passage of this bill may be the final nail in the coffin of a once proud and flourishing industry," Revilla added.

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