Film Development Council of the Philippines chair Liza Diño Seguerra looked back on her fourth year of service in government, and reminisced about the very first day she took office as head of the agency.
“August 15, 2016, exactly four years ago, I took an oath for the privilege to serve this industry, armed with a big ambition to effect impactful changes. I knew even then that it wasn’t going to be easy, and especially now, taking steps seems to get harder and harder, with different sectors asserting that their concern is more valid than the other. Discerning priorities was a challenge in itself as the issues have been long drawn out and needed immediate solutions,” she said in her Facebook post on Aug. 16.
Being in the office for four years now, Seguerra stated that “whatever comes, how I felt then and how I feel now hasn’t changed,” adding that she loves the film industry and that her “commitment is stronger than ever.”
“Serving in the government has matured me for the better as I realized that I am never going to be able to satisfy everybody all the time. What I can do is take the steps that I believe in and stay the course while also being humble enough to learn from mistakes and to accept that some things and other’s perceptions and convictions are beyond my control, and there’s no use in trying to change them,” she said.
She recalled her statement in 2016 about her “hopes and dream as head of FDCP,” and thinks that “our agency has made significant ripples in the last four years.”
“But there’s still so much to be done,” she added.
Seguerra stated that the “while the Philippine Film Industry is considered one of the oldest in Asia, it is still very fragmented and mostly made up of informal entities and workers. Each sector works with a silo mentality – with their own systems and own way of doing things.”
She said we are different in our approach in filmmaking as “other countries have set film policies and parameters to support the various aspects of the filmmaking process, our local industry has been, for the most part, operated and moved on its own through self-regulation.”
Seguerra stated that “this needs to be addressed” by “instituting structural reforms.” She cited the need to set minimum standards “on the working conditions of all workers to facilitating and encouraging the proper development of film projects; having a sector-specific framework in the protection of intellectual property rights, adherence to the international technical standards in the production of films, to establishing better distribution policies when exhibiting films in cinemas and other platforms.”
“We have to change no matter how painful, in order to survive and thrive. And FDCP will not stop aspiring for that much-needed change,” she claimed. “The FDCP is dedicated to provide its support for the industry in developing not just the film culture in the country but also capitalize on making the film and audiovisual industry as valuable contributors to the economy…”
She then thanked “those who have been with [her] from the beginning and those who came to [her] aid along the way with kindness, guidance, understanding, and cooperation.”
“To the rest, I hope we can continue to find commonalities amid our differences and believe in the better goal to work together to elevate this industry,” she said. JB