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Philippines looking to introduce film tax incentives

Metro Manila filmed in the PhilippinesA member of the Philippines senate has proposed a bill aiming to promote the Philippines' film production industry as well as boost film tourism.

The intent of the so-called FILM Act (which stands for Fostering Investment through Local and International Movies) is to provide tax credits to production companies, both for national as well as international productions.

The act seeks to provide tax credits ranging from 20% to 40% under a points-based incentive system.  In addition to tax incentives, the proposed legislation also aims to provide additional incentives, such as free filming permits, free access to public spaces, free police protection, free visas, and a designated local support team.

Under the bill a production is eligible for tax relief if the film is set completely or largely in the Philippines, or if at least half of the shoot occurs in a Philippines community which is recovering from a natural disaster.

Senator Juan Edgardo Angara, who put the bill forward, reportedly said: "Film tourism is a growing phenomenon wherein a destination is visited by tourists because it was featured in a movie, television or video. Thus, there is a need to promote the Philippines as a destination for filmmakers."

As an example he brought up New Zealand’s tax offering to film productions which, after the success of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit saw a substantial increase in its tourism industry.

He said: "In recognising the potential of international and local motion picture production to create jobs, grow the economy, and raise the nation's international profile offering production tax incentives are necessary steps for growth and development." 

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