THE METRO Manila Council (MMC) has passed a resolution suspending the collection of amusement tax from the screening of Philippine movies for the next three years in a bid to support the local film industry.

In a statement released on Thursday, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Acting Chairman Romando S. Artes said local government units (LGUs) in the capital region shall amend their respective revenue codes to “waive the amusement tax for Filipino movies exhibited in Metro Manila from January 8 to December 24 of every year for the next three years.”

Local chief executives supported the resolution following Wednesday’s meeting with film director and writer Jose Javier Reyes who told the MMC that the local film industry has “declined significantly” and suffered a dismal performance since the pandemic happened.

The MMC was told what contributed to the decline of the local film industry were content piracy, the advent of streaming platforms, and the barrage of taxes that have weighed the industry down.

“A producer needs to pay three types of taxes for each film including 10% amusement taxes together with other taxes such as Value Added Tax and Income Tax, making us the most heavily-taxed movie industry in the world,” Mr. Reyes told the MMC.

The MMDA said: “The moratorium on the imposition of amusement taxes excludes the period of the MMFF which is from December 25 of every year until January 7 of the following year.”

Local movie producers had voiced their concerns regarding the tax collection to Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin C. Abalos, Jr. in January during the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).

In response, he said his department will give its support “to reinvigorate the Filipino filmmaking industry and help them by bringing back the local moviegoers into watching in cinemas again.” — Kenneth Christiane L. Basilio