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Opinion

Glimmer of hope

Jose C. Sison - The Philippine Star

Towards the end of 2015, we are still hounded by anomalies and controversies that have characterized this administration from the very start. More unfortunate here is that even in the field of cinematic arts and culture like film festivals, corruption and dissension still exist. The last Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) conducted yearly by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) disqualifying the film “Honor thy father” is a case in point.

This latest controversy somehow brings into focus the Commission on Audit findings about the collection and distribution of the amusement tax from the festival. Unknown to many, the Director General of the Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) Leo Martnez, has already called the attention of the MMDA Chairman about this finding based on COA September 2009 special audit of the MMFF Funds for FY 2002-2008, particularly::

 The non deposit in trust of the full amount collected as Amusement Tax pending distribution to the beneficiaries and the illegal charging of festival expenses from the Amusement Tax.

The non-payment by MMDA of the accrued balance of P82,787,440.00 for the festival years 2002 to 2008 to the beneficiaries. (Mowelfund -50%, Film Academy of the Philippines -20%, Anti-Piracy Council – 5%, Optical Media Board -5%, and Film Development Council -5%). Adding the balance of P25,989,570.00 for the years 2009 to 2013 the  total unpaid balance due the beneficiaries amounts to P108,777,010.00.

The disregard of the rule that amusement taxes shall be paid by the proprietor, lessee or theater operator concerned directly to the Executive Committee not later than twenty (20) days after the last day of the Festival, resulting in delayed remittances to the beneficiaries.

With so many anomalies, horrifying man-made and natural disasters and deadly mishaps occurring in the past three hundred sixty five days, 2015 seems to be the longest year such as bidding good bye to it is so elating indeed.  There is truly an overwhelming feeling of relief and delight that it has finally ended. And this happy feeling is heightened even more because 2016 is an election year that somehow still inspires hope for the much needed changes in government after six years of misrule and corruption along daang matuwid.

Hope still lingers in the hearts of nine out of ten Filipinos especially at the start of the New Year simply because they do not fail to look at it from the spiritual point of view. This is actually the eighth day after the birth of Christ, the day of His circumcision when the name “Jesus” was given to him (Luke 2:21). Jesus is the Latin and Greek word taken from the Hebrew and Aramaic name of “Joshua” which means the “Lord is Salvation”. This is the day when the Christ child was confirmed as the much awaited Messiah who has come to redeem the world. From this spiritual angle thus springs the undying hope of our countrymen for a better and more dignified earthly sojourn towards the next life of eternal bliss.

And so as we enter another year, there is still a glimmer of hope among our country men that people in government will finally wake up to the truth about the impermanence of power and glory in this world; that they will sooner or later come to pass (sic transit Gloria mundi); that as public servants, their main role is to serve with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency, and not to be served or to promote their own selfish interest.

The passage of another year also tells us that we are inevitably becoming older. We should however grow old rather than get old as the years go by. Always keep in mind that “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breaths away.” So to avoid getting old, here are some valuable tips I gathered and compiled from the reading materials and e-mails I received which I am sharing with you.

First, “Thank God for everything, be happy always, and pray under all circumstances”. Just   remember that life itself is the best gift we have ever received which we should take good care of in gratitude to Him who gave it to us.

Second, seize every opportunity to express your love to all the people around you especially your dearly beloved ones. Flowers are much more appreciated by those who are still alive rather than those who are already in the funeral parlor.

Third, surround yourself with what or whom you love like your family and friends or your keepsakes and mementos, music, plants, hobbies and the like. This is the best way to build good memories.

Fourth, laugh often and laugh out long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. Indeed, there is truth to the saying that, “laughter is the best medicine.”

Fifth, remember that tears cannot be prevented sometimes. Grief is part of life but we should endure it and move on. The only person with you in your entire life is yourself. So always perk up and be revitalized and reinvigorated as long as you live.

Sixth, cherish your health. If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond improvement, get help.

Seventh, enjoy simple things and throw out non-essential items and numbers that clutter, such as your age, weight and height. Let your doctor worry about them.

Eight, keep learning. Learn more about everything happening around you, about the latest technologies, computers, arts and crafts and whatever. Never let the brain remain idle. “An idle mind is devil’s workshop”.

Ninth, don’t be overcome by fear of committing mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes. What is wrong and should be avoided is to commit the same mistake twice or even more.

Tenth, there is a time for everything; a time to laugh and a time to cry, a time to sow and a time to reap, a time to work and a time to rest, a time to live and a time to die.

Another more important aspect in the passage of another year is that it shows us how time flies and flies so swiftly. Compared to eternity, life in this world is really so short. No time should be wasted therefore on matters that deter us from reaching our supernatural end. Every moment of our life should be spent in doing good and avoiding evil because even if the end of our worldly existence is inexorable we do not know when it will come as we are not in control.

A VERY HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR TO ONE AND ALL!

E-mail: [email protected]

 

ACIRC

AMUSEMENT TAX

ANTI-PIRACY COUNCIL

DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE FILM ACADEMY OF THE PHILIPPINES

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

FILM ACADEMY OF THE PHILIPPINES

FILM DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

HEBREW AND ARAMAIC

LATIN AND GREEK

STRONG

TIME

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