CELEBRITY WORLD PH
By Crispina M. Belen
Cinemadvocate honoree Cong. Toff de Venecia pushes for Philippine Creative Industry Bill
The upcoming 5th Film Ambassadors’ Night or FAN will honor individuals working hard on their own right for the betterment of the country’s movie industry. One of them, under the Cinemadvocate category, is Pangasinan 4th District Rep. Christopher “Toff” de Venecia.
“I’m very honored to be recognized by FDCP for our efforts to help the local movie industry and to continue my grandfather Doc Perez and Manay Ichu’s legacy,” he expressed via #Facebook #Messenger chat.
It can be recalled that one of his valuable contributions to the industry is his crucial role in the landmark Eddie Garcia Bill.
“I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to serve as its lead person for the said bill that will provide protection to our film, television and radio entertainment workers,” shared the lawmaker.
To date, the Eddie Garcia Bill has since been passed on its third and final reading at the Lower House.
As explained by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), Cinemadvocates is one of the special segments of this year’s FAN “to laud individuals and groups that tirelessly champion the welfare of film workers and the development of the industry.”
A more recent action of Cong. Toff de Venecia as the chairperson of the Special Committee on Creative Industries and Performing Arts, is the launching of an inquiry into the rampant online piracy that happened during the 2020 Metro Manila Film Festival. He said that they hope to “strengthen the movie industry’s intellectual property regime.” According to him, they have filed an amendment to the intellectual property code which is now on the technical working group stage.
His committee’s pet bill, he added, is the Philippine Creative Industry Bill.
“This bill will institutionalize a framework for the development of our creative industries, including film, and will create both a creative industry development council and a creative industry development plan,” he described. “It will also institutionalize support mechanisms such as infrastructure, fiscal incentives, creative economic zones, research and development, creative education, marketing, and others benefits.”
Another Bill which he is pushing to be passed as a law is the Film Philippines Bill which he signed with other congressmen. It is about institutionalizing film and television incentives for tourism and providing financial support to both our local and foreign producers. He is also in the process of filing a Film Archive Bill to strengthen the state’s preservation of our cinematic heritage.
Most immediate and of great importance to the congressman is providing assistance to industry workers rendered jobless or unemployed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Through our efforts also in the crafting and implementation of Bayanihan 2, in partnership with Speaker Lord Allan Velasco’s office, we will be providing cash assistance to thousands of film workers through DOLE – a total of 200 million pesos worth to as many as 30,000 freelancers from various creative industries,” he stated.
Also honored alongside Cong. Christopher “Toff” de Venecia as Cinemadvocates are National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Chairman and Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) President Arsenio “Nick” Lizaso, Lockdown Cinema Club, Inter-Guild Alliance, Dingdong Dantes, and Angel Locsin.
Other special awards categories of FAN are Gabay ng Industriya and Camera Obscura.
The Film Development Council of the Philippines’ online 5th Film Ambassadors’ Night will take place on February 28.