MAY ibinahagi sa kanyang FB page ang magaling na director na si Carlitos Siguion Reyna sa magiging bagong ikot ng mga manggagawa sa industriya, bilang kinatawan ng Directors’ Guild of the Philippines.
Aniya, “On behalf of the Directors’ Guild of the Philippines, Inc. (DGPI), I delivered the statement below to today’s online hearing of the Senate Subcommittee on Finance, chaired by Sen. Sonny Angara. The hearing tackled several bills creating a stimulus package for small and medium enterprises and their workers during this pandemic crisis.
HEART, SOUL, AND MIND OF THE NATION
By CARLOS SIGUION-REYNA on behalf of the Directors’ Guild of the Philippines, Inc. (29 May 2020)
“On behalf of the Directors’ Guild of the Philippines, I would like to thank our senator-hosts for inviting us to be part of this discussion of a stimulus bill for the country’s less-privileged in our respective industries, now in this time of the pandemic.
“The DGPI, along with the Inter-Guild Alliance of which it is a part, endorses the stimulus packages and relief efforts being considered by these Senate bills under discussion. The DGPI also endorses the IGA’s position paper on these bills, as they will greatly help in the survival of the cinema and television industries during these challenging COVID times. The DGPI also appeals to the senators to include the AV industries (film and television) in the small to medium scale business and enterprises category qualified to receive the benefits of the stimulus package, interest-free loans, wage subsidies, extension of due dates for tax payments, and other benefits given to small to medium scale businesses and enterprises.
“The private sector in the form of film and television has exerted great efforts and initiatives to survive during pre-COVID days, but is now fully stretched to breaking point, what with the newly required health and safety protocols (including decreased working hours, increased shooting schedule, cutbacks on work force, pay cuts, etc.). Cinema and TV now greatly need substantial government aid to survive, to contribute to nation-building economically, culturally, and to maintain and remind our own hearts and minds of our Filipino identity, of which I now speak.
“In the past, a lot of this mission for exploring, protecting, developing the Filipino identity was carried out in the schools. Today, the mission is still carried out there, but a recent government ruling has cut back the exposure of our students to important national and cultural identity-formation subjects. Because of a recent Supreme Court ruling, Philippine language and literature, and the Philippine Constitution have been removed as required courses in the college core curriculum. And because of this, the role of institutions outside of academe, such as the arts and pop culture sector—including cinema and television—is more important and critical than ever. Like the rest of our arts and culture institutions, and whether these are presented in the form of educational tools or entertainment, Philippine cinema and television need protection and sustenance to maintain the work of exploring and confronting the heart, minds, soul, and identity of the nation.
“Movies and television tell stories and open discussions on the positive and negative attributes, values, and situations of our people, our attitudes, where we are in our psychological, social, cultural, political, economic situations. In short the Filipino’s human condition.
“Owning our national identity is not some esoteric, impractical, concept that suits only the ivory tower of academe and intellectuals. It is a very real and practical need, of which the following is an example.
“It is evident from colonial histories that a foreign nation with a confident self-identity would export and impose its cultural aspirations, dreams, realities on another nation with a weak self-identity, as a benevolent introduction to a more encompassing and invasive economic takeover to follow. Owning our national identity and being confident with it is actually a practical and muscular cultural weapon against falling victim to any cultural and economic colonizer. It protects us against a cultural and eventual economic takeover by an expansionist foreign power.
“After the pandemic, if at all it ends, local producers eager to start production will have little choice but ask for pay cuts. Production people will have little choice but to accept. The franchise of the country’s largest TV network is still in limbo. No one knows if movie houses will ever fill up again, if sold-out theater outings are now truly history. Jobs will come few and far between.
“And here’s the rub.
“For even if many among us won’t just entertain, and our creatives are the heart, soul and mind of the nation, our filmmakers protest against whimsical censorship, bring honor to the country with international film festival triumphs that continue to tell our story as a people, how we survived past colonization and invasion, how we present ourselves to ourselves and to the world, and soon, perhaps, how we refused to be a province of today’s expansionist power.
“Still, Lav Diaz cannot make a movie by himself. Neither Brillante Mendoza, Joel Lamangan, Erik Matti, Jun Lana, Treb Monteras. We all of us depend so heavily on audio-visual workers, production people and crew, as we reshape our national identity now in the time of the Filipino diaspora.
“A well-planned stimulus package for our production people and the cinema and TV industries is clearly in order.
“Honorable senators, we appeal to you to protect and sustain our stories and the capacities of our storytellers, protect our voice, the Filipino’s hearts, minds, and soul…the Filipino identity.
“Thank you very much.”
Marami ba ang sumasang-ayon?
ni Pilar Mateo