MANILA – The incentives granted by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) to entice international productions resulted in PHP1.089 billion spent here last year.

FDCP Chairperson Liza Diño-Esguerra told a Senate Committee on Finance budget hearing on Friday the foreign productions also generated jobs for 717 Filipino film workers during the pandemic.

“What’s good about these grants is there are exponential contributions to the economy, with a total of PHP1.089 billion production spent in the Philippines with the PHP125.9 million grants we awarded,” Esguerra said. “We’ll never stop hanggang matulungan natin na ang ating industriya ay makabangon (until our industry recovers).”

Aside from 21 international project grants, FilmPhilippines incentives also granted PHP29.4 million to 50 local film projects.

The incentives involve four programs, namely the Film Location Incentive Program (FLIP), International Co-Production Fund (ICOF), ASEAN CO Production Fund (ACOF), and CreatePHFilms.

FLIP provides a 20 percent cash rebate of up to PHP10 million to select productions that have a minimum qualified Philippine production expenditure of PHP8 million within the country while ICOF is a selective fund for international co-production with the Philippines of up to PHP10 million with a minimum projected spending of PHP5 million in the Philippines.

ACOF, on the other hand, supports the production of original regional feature films for Filipino producers who are working with ASEAN co-producer.

CreatePHFilms is a funding program to encourage the production of quality films and the artistic creation of Filipino filmmakers.

Esguerra said FDCP also focused on Covid-19 intervention programs, with 1,115 production activities registered under its safe filming program for the resumption of film and audiovisual production activities.

There were also 6,019 film industry workers in 2020 under the FDCP national registry of active film workers.

The registry serves as a database for FDCP to monitor, protect, and provide services to film workers nationwide.

FDCP likewise vaccinated 4,970 film and entertainment workers in coordination with the Quezon City and Manila local governments.

Another Covid-19 intervention programs was the Dear (Disaster/Emergency Assistance Relief) Program, in partnership with the Labor department, for the grant of financial assistance.

A total of 5,000 applications were processed and PHP28 million cash assistance released.

The FDCP is seeking an increase of 29.45 percent in its budget -- from PHP174.821 million this year to PHP247.809 million in 2022. (PNA)