Local animation industry asks PH gov’t for tax breaks

 By Edd K. Usman

The Philippine animation industry has proposed tax breaks of as much as 30 percent, a rate that is expected to provide the government a return of more than six times, an industry executive said.

ACPI's Del Rosario: A government incentive is most welcome.

Animation Council of the Philippines Inc. president Miguel Del Rosario

A tax incentive of anywhere from 30 to 40 percent — the standard given to animation industries in several countries — was suggested by the Animation Council of the Philippines, Inc. (ACPI), a group of 50 local animation studios.

“If the government bets on the animation industry and provides incentive on it, I am telling you the 30 percent they will wager on, the return is not only six times more. It will come in leaps and bounds,” ACPI president Miguel del Rosario said.

Most studios are small and medium-scale enterprises and provide employment for 10,000 to 12,000 animators, including indirect workers and suppliers, who have been keeping the industry on the global map for years.

Del Rosario cited Vancouver in Canada, which recently gave its animation industry with a $300 million incentive that later resulted in a $2 billion return on investment.

Del Rosario, who also heads Toon Studio, produces TV series for big clients such as Disney, among others. The production costs $5,000 dollars a minute, with each episode running at 11 minutes, which are all paid for by the client.

“Somebody has to come up with a solution to the animators’ financial problem. We don’t have the solution yet, so we are hoping to attract investors and co-production partners,” he said.

Del Rosario led the recent “Animahenasyon 11: 2017 Philippine Animation Festival” in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, drawing big attendees, many of them students.

“We never had as much attention as we are getting now from the government. So, our thanks deeply, deeply because it puts Philippine animation in the map of global animation,” he said.

Animahenasyon, a play on the words animation and imagination, is a flagship project of the ACPI. Besides showcasing production of original content and promoting skills and knowledge of local production teams, the event also sought to encourage more and more content development from Filipino animators and even comics illustrators.

Despite its slow growth, the industry is thriving and a government incentive would be most welcome, Del Rosario added. If granted, the tax incentives are also expected to spur the production of local content, which the industry “really needs now,” Grace Dimaranan, former ACPI president, said.

“Hopefully, we can have our own content…not just creators for others,” she said, citing Japan’s anime, which are now popular around the world. “Why not us?”

Comment on this post