Senator Grace Poe attended an intimate luncheon yesterday, April 14, at a restaurant in Makati City.
In the event, Poe was able to interact with some of her young fans, who were able to talk to their favorite presidential candidate.
PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and other members of online media were also present.
Some of the topics that Poe was able to cover include issues that are related to the entertainment industry.
Showbiz is close to her heart because she is the adopted daughter of veteran actress Susan Roces and the late King of Philippine Movies Fernando Poe Jr.
One of Poe’s plan is to create a Film Commission that aims to make the country an attractive shooting location for foreign productions.
“There is a commission in London, its called FilmLondon, that’s why they have all the James Bond films there, Harry Potter and so many others, that makes billions of dollars a year for London.
“Now, the Philippines, can you imagine, if we have all these companies come over here, number one, it will give jobs to our local talents.
“Number two, it will give jobs to the local entrepreneurs.”
Poe added that the Film Commission would give incentives to foreign productions that choose to shoot here, if the country will be shown in a favorable light.
The presidential candidate referred to the 2012 Hollywood action film The Bourne Legacy, which was shot in Manila but there was little favorable content in the finished product.
She said, “We should make it easy and provide them with the tax incentives so they will come here.
“Meaning, 'O, hindi naman kayo ita-tax ng VAT pero you have to show the Philippines in a good light.'
“Like, we have Bourne Identity. Ganda, dito na-shooting. Anong ipinakita sa Pilipinas?
“Maybe two minutes of Palawan? Not even the shores? It could be in any country in the world, not the Philippines.
“So that is our condition.
“Okay, your theme is up to you, but you have to show at least these many minutes of how beautiful the Philippines is and we will give you tax incentives.”
Aside from the Film Commission, Poe also wants to help entertainers who have fallen on hard times.
“There should be an entertainment pool wherein hindi lang yung mga artistang sikat.
“Kasi ang Mowelfund, hindi kaya, e.
“We should help also the others, like mga stuntmen, crew members, that will be part of this social protection mechanism that will allow them also to have healthcare, social security, and other benefits from the government,” she said.
ON CENSORSHIP. Poe also talked about censorship in film and television.
She served as the chairwoman of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) from 2010 to 2012, so she is passionate about this issue.
Critics of the MTRCB had recently hit the agency for slapping X ratings to three trailers: two of LGBT-themed movies and one of a comedy about a fat woman.
Poe said she still believes in self-regulation.
Both the entertainment producers and the audience should be informed on how to choose what to show or watch.
“From the time I took over the MTRCB in 2010, I’ve always emphasized the government should be an enabler and not just a regulator.
“And I’ve always said that we need to empower the citizenry to do their own regulation, meaning, yung mga nanay dapat ang nanonood para malaman kung puwede ba o hindi sa mga bata.
“Having said that, networks as well as producers should be able to regulate themselves,” she explained.
Poe believes that entertainment should not be focused on profit-making.
“She said there have been cases where a film or a television episode are asking for a G-rating even if the material is not appropriate.
“Siguraduhin niyo, ayusin niyo ang inyong material to fit into the classification.
“Huwag kayong lalapit sa akin na merong barilan at lumalabas ang dugo at naghahalikan at expect me to make it a G. Hindi naman puwede yun.
“Gusto natin kumita ng pera. Gusto natin mag-express ng ating sarili. But not at the expense also of being irresponsible.
“We are in a democracy and I will fight to the death for your freedom of expression, but we need to do it in a responsible manner.
“And let us not use freedom of expression but actually just in the guise of profit-making.
“Kung gusto nating magpaka-controversial, be ready that you will have a limited audience. But you can show it.”
But Poe clarified that she does not want to limit the audience of mature movies.
In fact, she even negotiated with SM to open their cinemas for these kinds of movies.
The mall chain started banning the showing of R-18 movies in 2002 due to moral reasons.
“In fact, I was the one that lobbied SM Cinemas.
“Sabi ko, 'Ang gagaling ng mga indie film directors natin, hindi ninyo pinapayagan na magpalabas ng R-18. So, puwede ba mag-compromise tayo?'
“R-16, may difference 'yan, e. Pumayag sila. Can you imagine that impact?
“I want film producers to have a wider audience,” Poe said.