Arroyo urged: Enact lower amusement tax law
MANILA, Philippines -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has been urged to immediately sign into law a bill that would reduce the amusement tax paid to local government units from 30 percent to 10 percent to encourage the production of more films in the country.
Quezon Representative Lorenzo Tañada said the tax relief measure, if enacted, would provide the movie industry “a stimulus package to encourage investments, production of more films, and job creation.”
Tañada’s House Bill 742, which has passed third reading, seeks to lower the amusement tax collected by local government units from 30 percent on the gross receipts of movie houses top 10 percent.
But the House adopted the Senate version of the measure, which would lower the amusement tax also for concert halls, circuses, boxing stadiums and other amusement places, precluding the need to convene a bicameral conference.
“I am hoping the enrolled bill, once transmitted to Malacañang, will be immediately signed by the President as a lot of sectors will benefit from this tax relief. In particular, this will be a timely help for the film industry,” Tañada said in a statement.
“The decline of the industry has created massive unemployment [of] people involved in production as lesser number of movies are being produced. The movie industry is also one of the most heavily taxed among the industries in the Philippines,” the Quezon congressman said.
Aside from the amusement tax, the film industry also pays a 5 percent withholding tax and 12 percent value added tax on the producer’s share of a film’s earnings, and a 35 percent corporate income tax.
Such heavy taxation has affected the ability of the industry to produce films. Before 1996, the average films produced locally reached 250 but recent data shows less than 53 movies are produced annually.