FDCP seeks more funds for local movies, COVID-19 vaccines

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The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) in 2019.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 24) — The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) on Friday appealed to the President for more funds to help local production workers as they continue to face income loss amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We have a lot of programs in place para matulungan ang mga sektor within the film industry pero kailangan namin ng funding," FDCP Chairperson Liza Diño told CNN Philippines' Newsroom Weekend. "Kailangan mag-invest sa ating productions para matulungan mabuo ang mga pelikula."

[Translation: We have a lot of programs in place to help the sectors within the film industry but we need funding. We need to invest in our productions to help create more films.]

Last year, the FDCP launched the DEAR Program, which provided relief aid to film production workers. Diño said the group also coordinated with the Department of Labor and Employment to release a second round of financial aid.

The budget for each film shoot increased by 30% due to the imposition of additional health measures, according to Diño.

"Imagine ₱10 million ang production, nagiging ₱13 million to comply with protocols," she said.

[Translation: Production usually costs ₱10 million but it rises to ₱13 million to comply with protocols.]

The industry is also in immediate need of vaccines. Diño said she reached out to local government units such as Quezon City and Manila and was able to secure some 3,500 doses for film workers.

Despite these challenges, Diño noted that the industry continues to move forward, venturing into international screening platforms, as well as producing more filmmakers.