Press Release
January 28, 2009

Amusement Tax reduction approved by House, Senate

Senator Ramon Bong Revilla, Jr. today thanked the House of Representatives for approving on third reading House Bill 5624 on Monday (January 26), which will reduce amusement taxes on movies from 30% to 10%. It can be recalled that the Senate has previously approved Senate Bill 2325, a counterpart measure, on June 11, 2008.

"After almost five (5) years of pushing for this to become law, we are finally there," said Revilla. "This will greatly help our struggling motion picture industry." Revilla was the author of Senate Bill 717 which led to Senate Bill 2325. He was also a sponsor.

National Cinema Association of the Philippines (NCAP) President Roesholm Camaligan thanked both Houses of Congress for the measure's approval. "The local film industry is very grateful. We see their recognition of the importance of movies in the development of our people, and in preserving and promoting our national values, culture and heritage. We are particularly thankful to Senator Bong Revilla, who initiated this effort and stuck with us to the end. This will surely provide the film-viewing public with incentives to once again watch movies in theaters and cinema houses," he said.

"Because of this, we will be able to upgrade our facilities and make the movie-going experience more pleasurable and memorable," he added. "We may even be able to eventually reduce ticket prices if circumstances will permit, but definitely, prices will not increase and people will get more for their money."

Aside from Camaligan, Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) Chairman Esperidion Laxa, Solar Entertainment President Wilson Tieng, Film producer Dominic Du, NCAP Director Secretary Ed Sason, Actor and other stakeholders of the film industry lauded the measure's approval.

The reduction of amusement taxes is a result of Revilla's careful scrutiny of the factors contributing to the dwindling of the local film industry, finding out that it was one of the heaviest taxed industries in the country.

Revilla noted that aside from other factors such as film piracy and high cost of production, the movie industry is hampered by numerous tax impositions. These include the 30% amusement tax, 12% Value Added Tax (VAT) on materials on both production and post production processing, another 12% VAT on gross ticket sales, income taxes and other fees, charges, licenses, and permits.

"It is no exaggeration to say that our movie industry is one of the most, if not the most heavily taxed industries in the country. It is very unfair that the movie industry is taxed more than other more capable industries, "he said.

The lawmaker stressed that the Philippines heavily imposes taxes in the movie industry compared to other countries such as South Korea which imposes only a total of 7.5% of gross as taxes on motion pictures and Thailand which does not impose VAT and only an equivalent of 1 peso and 50 centavos in municipal taxes. He further bared that Taiwan imposes only 7.62% of gross as taxes on films; Singapore 3%; Indonesia 20%; France 11%; Germany 2%; Greece 4% to 12%; Israel 2.5 %; Italy 9%; Lebanon 5%; Portugal 7 %; Switzerland 0.15%; and Malaysia 25% to 31% VAT.

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