THE Department of Tourism (DOT) and its infrastructure arm, the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (Tieza), will help protect Filipino cinema legacy by allowing the construction of a film heritage building in Intramuros.
The construction of the building was made possible through a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the DOT-Tieza and the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP). The building will rise on an 800-square-meter lot along Sta. Lucia St., beside the Beaterio dela Compania de Jesus, and Tieza’s Light and Sound Museum in Intramuros.
In an interview with the BusinessMirror, Tieza Chief Operating Officer Mark Lapid said, “We are partnering with the FDCP through the film tourism program of the DOT and President Marcos Jr. The building will be constructed from the GAA (General Appropriations Act) funds of FDCP.” He said the Department of Finance made out a “deed of assignment for the properties to DOT, then DOT assigned these to Tieza.”
Lapid, himself an actor, described the agreement with the FDCP as a manifestation of government’s commitment in preserving the legacy of Philippine cinema. “This agreement… also amplifies the allure of Intramuros as a prime tourist destination in Manila. It enhances the experience of what this iconic site can offer, making our history and culture even more accessible and engaging. Let this MOA signing serve as a sign of our dedication to nurturing our nation’s artistic and cultural architectures. Together, we make a journey that seamlessly integrates our cinematic heritage with heritage sites,” he said.
Pushing film tourism
In a news statement, the DOT said the agreement was signed on September 26, 2023, and shall last until February 25, 2045, subject to renewal of the parties involved. It did not say how much funds will be spent by the FDCP for the building’s construction. FDCP is an agency under the Office of the President, but is administratively supervised by the Department of Trade and Industry. FDCP is the agency that extends the tax incentives to foreign film and TV producers. (See, “Hollywood execs told: More fun to film in the Philippines!” in the BusinessMirror, April 24, 2023.)
The film heritage building will house a cinematheque, film museum/gallery, film and media library, film storage/vaults, and film scanning and restoration room. It will also accommodate FDCP offices, lounge areas, a board room, as well as a merchandise shop and a cafe.
FDCP Chairman and Chief Executive officer Tirso Cruz III thanked both government agencies for approving the project. “Our facilities will serve as a haven for enthusiasts, a source of deep and rich knowledge for students and a treasure trove of Philippine cinema for both our fellow citizens and visitors from all around the world. Together, let’s continue to nurture and celebrate our nation’s film and artistic heritage,” he said.
Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco said the collaboration with FDCP will help nurture the growth of the creative industry in the Philippines, especially with regard to promoting the Philippines as a major destination for film and TV productions. “We foresee that with our archives in cinema and film in the film industry, having a home, as well as in reaching out to the farthest reaches of the Philippines as far as the development of film tourism, it can only serve to grow the portfolio of Philippine tourism and most importantly, provide employment and livelihood to our fellow Filipinos who will benefit from expanding our film tourism portfolio,” she added.