PNoy orders preservation of all Philippine films, audio-visuals

President Benigno S. Aquino III has directed all government agencies to turn over their existing original and copies of films and other audio-visuals to the National Film Archive of the Philippines (NFAP) as part of government’s efforts to preserve the country’s artistic and historic wealth.

Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. said on Saturday that the President signed Administrative Order (AO) No. 26 on April 17, 2012 with the aim of protecting and preserving films and audio-visuals in the possession of various government agencies because “these form part of the cultural treasure of the nation.”

According to Ochoa, AO 26 also streamlines the depository of these materials by giving to the NFAP the task of caring, preserving and reconstructing of films and audio-visuals instead of maintaining several film archives.

“It is the job of the State to preserve the country’s artistic and historic wealth because this forms part of the cultural treasure of our nation. It is also the job of the State to encourage the advancement of the local film industry because it is an effective tool to enrich our artistic, cultural and social values or facilitate the better understanding and appreciation of our identity as Filipinos,” Ochoa said.

Through this administrative order, Ochoa explained, the Aquino administration will be able to enhance efficiency in the protection, restoration, maintenance and custody of Filipino films and other audio-visual negatives, prints, or digital files whether moving films, documentaries and animation, etc. produced here in the country or abroad, and do away with the duplication of functions.

Under AO 26, which takes effect immediately, all departments, agencies and offices of the Executive Branch, including government corporations, are required to turn over their existing original or copies of films and other audio-visuals to the NFAP.

The presidential directive authorizes the Film and Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), which established the NFAP, to request similar materials from the Legislative and Judicial Branches, including their attached agencies and offices.

If deemed necessary to complete the inventory, the FDCP has also been authorized to request private parties like film producers, film makers, directors, legal owners or possessor of newly-produced films and other audio-visuals to deposit a copy or duplicate copy of their films and audio-visuals with the NFAP within one month after its showing anywhere in the country or abroad.

The President likewise tasks the NFAP to keep a record of all the materials it receives and to publish this record at the end of each year.

Republic Act No. 9167 created FDCP under the Office of the President. Among FDCP’s powers and functions is the establishment of the film archive in order to conserve and protect film negatives and/or prints as part of the nation’s historical, cultural, and artistic heritage. ###