Rep. ‘Goma’ seeks to upliftlocal entertainment industry

Leyte Rep. Richard Gomez has filed two measures seeking to boost the local entertainment industry.

Gomez, in a news statement, said that thousands of Filipino films have been lost due to lack of systematic identification, preservation, and restoration efforts.

One of these is a bill seeking to preserve the country’s film heritage and promote cinematographic arts and building in compliance with the constitutional provision mandating the government to protect and save the nation’s film reservoir, said Gomez.

House Bill 936 notes that other than the establishment of a film archive as mandated under Republic Act No. 9167, or the law which created the Film Development Council of the Philippines, “not much has been done along the line of protecting and conserving our film reservoir, understandably due to the usual problems of funding constraints and lack of technical expertise and storage infrastructural facilities.”

“This bill is premised on that hope or chance, no matter how slim and diminishing, that some copies of ‘lost’ Filipino classics may still be traced, acquired, and preserved for the benefit of our present and future generations,” Gomez said.

“The film industry is much more than a commercial enterprise designed for public entertainment. Cinematic films mirror the human and social conditions, dramatizes the people’s struggles towards total liberation and enhances our understanding and appreciation of our social values and national identity,” he added.

Gomez said the measure will “give life, infuse meaning, and flesh out the intent of constitutional provisions with the end in view of promoting our cinematographic arts and building and conserving our Filipino film heritage.”

On the other hand, House Bill No. 1428 seeks to “provide the much-needed spark for the Filipino artists to excel in their own chosen field” by giving cash incentives and non-monetary benefits to actors and actresses who bring pride and honor to the country when they win in international competitions.

“This proposed legislation would be a step closer in the right direction in making the arts a respectable and decent source of livelihood for our artists,” Gomez said.

He expressed hope that the measure would “rectify, to a limited extent, the decades of neglect, discrimination and sometimes even opprobrium suffered by artists in a society which prides itself as being democratic and labels itself as humane.”