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DLSU RP 2000-10: The Entertainment Industry in the Philippines

Following the World Trade Classification of industries, entertainment industry, as defined in this study, includes the following sub-sectors: amusement parks and circuses, theaters, the performing arts, services of performing and other artists, museums, libraries and preservation services, and sports and recreational sports services. The Philippine entertainment industry accounts for 6% of the total establishments, 5.6% of the total employment, and 4.6% of the total revenue of the Philippine services sector. The amusement and recreation services sub-sector is the biggest among the three sub-sectors that comprise the entertainment industry, accounting for more than 96% of the total number of firms and employment level of the industry and 85% of its total revenue. In terms of regional distribution, the Southern Tagalog, Southern Mindanao, and National Capital (NCR) regions account for the greatest number of entertainment-related establishments, 17%, 13%, and 9%, respectively. The highest entertainment-related revenues, however, were generated in the Central Visayas, NCR, and Southern Tagalog regions, 25%, 24%, and 12%, respectively. It can also be noted that, regions IV, IX, and VI hired the most number of employees in the industry with shares of 17%, 10%, 9%, respectively. Moreover, the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) data show that a total of 44,906 enetertainment industry workers were deployed in 1999. A considerable number (98.8%) were composers, dancers, musicians and singers. Of all performing artists who left the country in 1999, 95% went to Japan. The strength of the local entertainment industry is anchored in the Filipinos natural talent in the arts. Filipinos are competitive in the field of music, dancing, and theater arts. Potentially strong local demand for entertainment services is one of the strengths of the entertainment industry. The Filipinos propensity to consume entertainment services increases with the level of income. Indeed, even in low-income families a percentage (0.2%) of the household budget is allocated to consumption of recreational services. Likewise, the Filipinos' natural talent in the performing arts shine through in the field of music, dance, and theater making them a logical choice in international performances. The industry's weaknesses generally springs from the lack of technology and adequate training. The former plagues the amusement parks, performing arts and museum sub-sectors, while the latter affects particularly the performing arts and sports and sports-related industries. Liberalization forges stronger links between national economies. An increase in one country's income raises its demand for imports, and the imports of one country are the exports of another. Therefore, the increase in one country's income raises other countries' exports as well as their incomes. In the case of amusement parks and recreation sub-sector, for example, the removal of the current 10-20% tariff duty on amusement parks and recreation centers equipment will allow operators to either replace or add to their current machines and equipment. Thus, making their establishment more attractive to both local and foreign patrons. Meanwhile, the sports and sports-related industries should benefit from liberalization as well. Local production cost is expected to decrease with the reduction/removal of tariff duties imposed on sporting goods, raw materials (i.e., rubber, plastics, etc.). Thereby, making it more competitive in the domestic market. Likewise, liberalization may also be the answer for inadequate training offered to individuals involved in the performing arts. Opening the domestic market will allow more trainors, organized and otherwise, to enter the market and bridge the training gap in the sub-sector. The protection (i.e., tariff and importation of foreign talent) currently enjoyed by the local entertainment industry is not even enough to ensure a significant share of the local market. In the performing arts sub-sector, for example, liberalization would open the market to more international performance (i.e., singers, dancers, and live bands), thus posing a real threat to local talent. Local demand for entertainment is determined largely by income. According to the 1997 Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES), recreation accounted for an average of 0.4% of the Philippine household expenditures roughly PHP5.65 billion. Moreover, the FIES also showed the recreational expenditures, as a percentage of the household budget, increases at higher levels of income. Patrons of entertainment services come from all walks of life. Amusement parks appeal to families on weekend outings. The performing arts, generally have two separate markets depending on the type of entertainment offered. Concerts that feature both local and international talent attract individuals from all socioeconomic classes. The former, depending on the artists, has a large following in the A, B, C, and D markets. While the latter cater mostly to market A-C. While theater patrons, on the other hand, mostly belong to the A and B income classes. Museums, on the other hand, usually cater to tourists and students. Finally, sports and sports-related industries derive their following from all socioeconomic classes. Basketball is by far the most popular sports in the local market. As a spectator sport, it draws crowds that transgress socioeconomic barriers. Foreign demand varies according to sub-sector. Intense competition in Asia and the generally underdeveloped status of local amusement parks, relative to the Philippines foreign competitors (i.e., Hong Kong), account its inability to draw significant foreign patrons. The same could be said of the local museum sub-sector, which is eclipsed by the more developed, hi-tech foreign competition. Meanwhile, physical endowment (i.e., height and build) and lack of adequate training prevent local athletes form gaining international recognition. The performing arts sub-sector, on the other hand, particularly Filipino singers, dancers, and theater artists have a large following not only in Asia but in the US and Europe as well. In general, amusement tax laws impede the growth of the entertainment industry. Section 13 of the Local Tax Code provides that a tax on admission is to be collected from the proprietors, lessees, or operators of theaters, cinematographs, concert halls, circuses and other places of amusement. Thus, driving up the cost of amusement services. There is very little training, specifically designed for the entertainment industry, offered to its workers/ professionals. The colleges and universities (i.e., University of the Philippines, De La Salle University, and Ateneo), industry organizations (i.e., Dulaang Pilipino, PARI and PETA), and industry participants, themselves, are the only institutions offering any kind of artistic training. Most in the performing arts and sports and sports-related industries hire their own trainors, local and international (i.e., singing/acting/sports coaches). Workers/managers of amusement parks and recreational centers learn on the job, from subscription to international trade publications, from attending international trade shows, and/or from suppliers of amusement machines and equipment. In general, efforts should be made to professionalize the entertainment industry through the improvement of training, imposition of minimum educational requirements for its members, and the formulation and implementation of laws to protect its workers. Improvement of training and the imposition of a minimum educational requirement can and will enhance natural talent Filipinos are endowed with in the area of entertainment. Moreover, the passage and implementation of labor laws pertaining to workers in the industry (i.e., security of tenure, entitlement to social benefits, etc.) will likewise improve the quality of labor and, therefore, the service offered by the industry.

Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc.
Authors Keywords
Edralin, Divina M.; entertainment industry;
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