Cebu City Councilor Alvin Dizon is pushing for the amendment of City Ordinance 2466, which gives all senior citizens in the city a privilege to watch movies for free, to include the PWDs.
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Tax rebates sought to compensate for free movies
Alicia Ivy L. Chua (The Freeman) - January 15, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — A proposed ordinance allowing persons with disabilities in Cebu City to watch movies for free like senior citizens do was welcomed by the federation of PWD organizations during a public hearing held yesterday.

A mall official, however, is asking for tax incentives to compensate for the free movie passes.

Cebu City Councilor Alvin Dizon is pushing for the amendment of City Ordinance 2466, which gives all senior citizens in the city a privilege to watch movies for free, to include the PWDs.

Under Dizon’s proposed amendment, the ordinance should be known as “The Senior Citizens and Persons with Disabilities Free Movie Access to All Theaters Ordinance of Cebu City.”

Nolito Dayanan, president of Cebu City Federation of PWD, said that the proposed ordinance is well appreciated by the PWD community.

“We are glad by this move, simply balancing the economic privilege of the people of Cebu, not only the senior citizen but also for the PWD. Just simply advocating for those who have less in life, should have more in law,” said Dayanan.

But Mary Christine Lucero, regional operations manager of SM City Cebu, said the city should also consider their predicament.

“SM has always supported any ordinance that will promote and help in the overall health of the Filipinos, having said that, we are also asking this August body to consider our previous stand,” said Lucero

In 2016, SM Cinema sought for some conditions like tax exemption.

Lucero mentioned their two concerns--first is that some theaters, like in SM Bacolod, the LGU gave them five percent discount in amusement tax. In Bacoor, Cavite the LGU allegedly pays P100 for every ticket in a form of rebates which would come out as miscellaneous and is subtracted from the tax payment of the theater.

She said that since 2018, SM City Cebu has given 35,000 senior citizens the privilege of free movie and another 11,000 at SM Seaside. But Lucero said the mall management still paid 10 percent amusement tax for every ticket.

“If there is a rebate, hopefully it would be considered, we have always supported any ordinance, and we are in favor with this ordinance. But we are just asking that this will be tackled with the discount in amusement tax, which is given by the other LGUS, like in Manila and Bacolod. In Bacoor, they are given rebates,” said Lucero.

An existing ordinance allows senior citizens registered in the city to watch movies at movie houses for free during weekdays except on the first day of showing, on holidays, and weekends.

Dizon said both senior citizens and PWDs are important members of society who do not only need support and protection, but also privilege and benefits that would help improve their everyday lives.

Citing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities, the Department of Health said PWDs are “those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.”

There are at least 9,986 PWDs registered in Cebu City.  FPL (FREEMAN)

PWD ORGANIZATIONS
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