(MANILA BULLETIN) Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada on Sunday, July 9 expressed hopes that his proposal for the establishment of the National Film Archive of the Philippines (NFAP) will gain momentum during the Second Regular Session of the 19th Congress.
The Senate has already set in motion public hearings for Senate Bill No. 1033 which seeks to promote the growth and development of the local film industry.
“Two decades have passed since the enactment of Republic Act No. 9167, the law that directs the FDCP (Film Development Council of the Philippines) to establish a film archive, but the permanent facility for film preservation with sufficient storage space and proper equipment has yet to materialize,” said Estrada, who was the first to file a bill in the upper chamber for the creation of the NFAP.
In emphasizing the need for the approval of his bill, Estrada pointed out that many films, which serve as snapshots of the nation’s history and social realities, have not survived the test of time and have been left to decay and degrade over the years.
The senator also lamented that notable works by the country’s renowned filmmakers, including the national artists for film, have also been neglected and improperly cared for.
He also said approximately 65 percent of the country’s vast cinematic heritage has been lost or destroyed, citing data from the FDCP.
“Whatever remains unarchived are exposed to daily damage and deterioration. It is also estimated that out of more than 8,000 movies shot on film, only around 2,000 have surviving copies,” Estrada said.
“This bill aims to address this problem by creating NFAP which will ensure the protection and preservation of Filipino films that are part of our historical and cultural heritage,” the lawmaker reiterated.
The Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media, alongside two other bills authored by Estrada – Senate Bill Nos. 1032, and 2250.
SB 1033 is scheduled to be discussed in a hearing on Monday, July 10, by the Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media, chaired by Sen. Robin Padilla.
Two other film industry-related bills filed by the senator, Senate Bill Nos. 1032, and 2250, would also be discussed by the panel.
SB 1032, or the proposed World-Class Filmmakers’ Incentives Act, seeks to promote and support the production of high quality and globally competitive Filipino films through the provision of incentives and tax exemptions.
SB 2250, meanwhile, proposes institutionalizing the holding of physical and online festival for new quality genre films and free screening of classic movies every September.