FDCP vows prudence in spending
MANILA, Philippines—The new officials of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) have no plans to produce big-budgeted films like “Emir”—whose P12 million in talent fees the Commission on Audit (COA) had red-flagged—but they would support independent films.
“There are definitely no plans by the new FDCP to embark, now or in the future, on high-budgeted film production in the magnitude of ‘Emir,’” said Teodoro Granados, FDCP film festival coordinator, in a statement.
If at all, the FDCP has earmarked “modest seed money” to support the works of emerging independent filmmakers, “who eventually go on to produce works that win national and international awards, and give the Filipino and world audience not only an alternative film experience but also exposure to Filipino artistic genius,” Granados said.
The current FDCP officials distanced themselves from the 2010 production and marketing of “Emir,” a film on the heroism of overseas workers, which drew the COA’s attention due to the payment of P12 million in talent fees by the previous council officials.
“The film ‘Emir’ was produced under the former FDCP management,” Granados said.
In its 2010 report on the FDCP, the COA said the reasonableness of the P12,023,855.53 in talent fees paid out by FDCP could not be determined due to the absence of a reference guide, a violation of the Government Procurement Act.
FDCP received a P43.3-million grant from the President’s Social Fund for the production and marketing of “Emir” between September 2009 and June 2010. An audit of the grant showed that P12 million was paid out to various talents, such as a director, assistant director, actress, singers, stylist, cameraman, musicians, makeup artists, extras, among others.
Granados said the FDCP, under its new chair Briccio G. Santos, had been consulting with the Government Procurement Policy Board on the drafting of a procurement manual on enlisting the services of talents.
“When established and adopted, such a procurement manual shall be the sole basis of the FDCP for enlisting talents and paying their corresponding fees. All other current procurements of the FDCP are being done in accordance with Republic Act No. 9184, or the Government Procurement Act,” he said.
One thing the FDCP would wholeheartedly support, Granados said, is the recently launched National Film Competition for feature films, full-length documentaries and animation, where budding filmmakers could showcase their talents and join the growing ranks of brilliant filmmakers producing quality films.
“We are pleased to report that some 130 scripts—many of excellent craftsmanship—have been submitted from all parts of the country, a sign that we are giving the right motivation to many young creative Filipinos from Tuguegarao to Tawi-Tawi,” he said.
“By supporting these small but worthy projects, FDCP hopes to usher in the revival and resurgence of the Philippine motion picture industry that has seen better times,” he added.
“It is the new FDCP’s mandate to help make this come about, but with fiscal prudence as one of our constant guideposts.”