Rep. Lito: Industry needs gov’t help

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo - The Philippine Star
Rep. Lito: Industry needs govât help
Buhay Partylist Rep. Lito Atienza: Planning a bill that will exempt the movie industry from paying taxes for five years. ‘Unless the government helps the industry,’ he says, ‘it will die.’

The prospects for the movie industry look as dark as the heavy clouds that forebode a supertyphoon. It would take time (probably even if the vaccine will reach our shores) for people to dare go back to moviehouses which have remained closed since the start of the lockdown. They would rather stay home and watch streaming platforms that have become the alternative outlets of producers. But nothing can compare with the wonderful experience of watching a movie on a huge screen with hundreds of others sharing it.

Buhay Partylist Rep. Lito Atienza is echoing what other lawmakers have been saying over and over again.

“Unless the government helps the movie industry,” he said during his annual Christmas chikahan with the movie press last week at Victorino’s restaurant, “it will die. Television is doing okay despite the pandemic but the movie industry is gasping, naghihingalo, at kailangan ng agarang tulong ng gobierno.

An ironic plea for help considering that showbiz guys are in both houses (Upper and Lower).

“South Korea has a robust entertainment industry because it is subsidized by the government. Entertainment (K-pop, etc.) has become one of its lucrative exports. Why can’t we do the same?”

Yes, why can’t we when Filipino movies have been winning in international film festivals and doing so with almost no government support? Another irony: When a beauty queen wins or finishes even as runner-up, members of Congress are quick to pass a resolution commending her and even giving monetary “reward.” The likes of Lav Diaz and Brillante Mendoza have been winning honors and we don’t hear Congress “commending” them, do we? Jaclyn Jose won Best Actress (for Ma’Rosa) in Cannes, the highest acting honor for the country from a major filmfest, and did we hear Congress say a word of praise? Silence!

Initially, Rep. Lito is planning to author a bill to impose a five-year tax-free for the movie industry. Himself a producer, Rep. Lito was forced by the pandemic to put on hold his 20-year-plus show Maynila on GMA, hoping to resume airing when the situation returns to normal.

His other planned bill called Filipino Milyonaryo hopes to award P1M cash each to those turning 100 years old.

Wow, that would be a real Merry Christmas not only in December but the whole year round!


Chemist Pinky Tobiano (in pink) and co-host Yeng Constantino (in green) on their show Grateful Tuesdays interviewing guests KZ Tandingan and TJ Monterde.

• Pinky is not interested in politics

For the nth time, Pinky Tobiano is saying that she has no plans of joining politics, that her show Grateful Tuesdays with co-host Yeng Constantino is not, well, “politically motivated.”

“I’ve been helping people for more than 27 years,” reiterated the cancer-survivor chemist. “I got the gift of charity from my mom who helped people and would bring me along.”

Last Nov. 24, the show aired its first comeback episode highlighted by the show’s relief efforts. Along with other friends and artists, Pinky led the Care and Share Program of Grateful Tuesdays in communities affected by Typhoon Ulysses, namely Cagayan, Marikina and Rizal, helping some 7,000 families.

With the help of Mayor Chavit Singson, the team was able to reach Cagayan Valley. Three planes loaded with relief goods were distributed in Tuguegarao City and nearby municipalities. Pinky was accompanied by Ruffa Gutierrez and KC Concepcion in that operation.

In Marikina, long lines of evacuees welcomed the team and also in Montalban where Yeng grew up.

“I’ve been helping Achi Pinky distribute relief goods in other places but seeing my own ka-probinsya was something else,” recalled Yeng. “It really made me cry.”

This second season of Grateful Tuesdays adheres to what Christmas is all about, which is giving, and will continue to stick to its tagline, “A grateful heart is a magnet of grace and miracles.”

Grateful Tuesdays airs every Tuesday, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. live at CSTV FB Page, Chemist Pinky Tobiano FB Page and CSTV Kumu Account.

Yeng’s hit song Hawak-kamay is the perfect anthem for this pandemic — Hawak-kamay/Di kita iiwan sa paglalakbay/Dito sa mundong walang katiyakan/Hawak-kamay/Di kita bibitawan sa paglalakbay/Sa mundo ng kawalan.


Jade Riccio, singer-composer of Paano ang Pasko (no connection with the similarly-titled TV5 series although a perfect theme song for it)

• Jade’s song perfect for Pasko show

And speaking of inspiring Christmas songs, Jade Riccio has just composed one titled Paano ang Pasko, arranged by Naldy Rodriguez.

Here’s part of it:

Kumusta ka na? Okay ka pa ba?

Ako’y nandirito lamang para sa ’iyo

Kumusta ba sila? Ngayon ba’y masaya na?

Huwag kang mag-alala at ako’y

Nandito para sa’yo

The song has nothing to do with the similarly-titled TV5 series although it can be the perfect theme song.

Related Jade, “This is actually my second original song, the first is Ikaw at Ako which I composed late last year. I just recently explored this side of me, the composer side. I never thought I’d be able to compose a song and now it just keeps on growing and I seem to get more and more fond of it. I just always have these melodies inside my head from time to time and I would never write them down but then I decided I really wanted to write and so I did and I was happy with the outcome.

“This time, my inspiration was the situation of 2020 itself. It is my first time not to be with my family this Christmas season and I guess that has been my ‘hugot’ as they say for this song. Hehehe! feel for the OFWs who won’t be able to come home to their families. It will be a very hard and different Christmas this 2020 and this is dedicated to everyone who won’t be able to go home for Christmas.

“During these trying times, we can all look on the bright side once in a while because life is still beautiful and each day should give us hope that things will get better. We should all help each other out.”



(E-mail reactions at [email protected]. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)



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