Makati, Philippines—A Film heritage building will soon rise in the historic Walled City of Intramuros in Manila as the Department of Tourism (DOT) and its infrastructure arm, Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), formally sealed a 22-year agreement with the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), Tuesday (26 Sept.) at the DOT Central Office in Makati City.
The building, which will occupy the 800 sqm lot along Sta. Lucia St. in Intramuros, beside “Beaterio de la Compania de Jesus”, and TIEZA’s Light and Sound Museum, will be designed in such a way that it will house a cinematheque, film museum/gallery, film and media library, film storage/vaults, and film scanning and restoration room. It will also accommodate FDCP offices, lounge areas, board room, as well as a merchandise shop and a cafe. The said property will be utilized with consent from the Department of Finance (DOF), the registered owner of the lot.
The ceremonial signing of the MOA was led by DOT Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco, TIEZA Chief Operating Officer (COO) Mark Lapid, and FDCP Chair and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tirso Cruz III, witnessed by DOT Undersecretary Mae Elaine Bathan, TIEZA Assistant COO Jetro Lozada, and FDCP Executive Director Dan Morales.
“I join the FDCP and the TIEZA in this joyful celebration and thanksgiving that a project that honors the film heritage of the Philippines will finally be able to break ground figuratively and literally soon,” the tourism chief began her address during the MOA signing.
To recall, FDCP chair Cruz first came to DOT to share his project proposition and other aspirations for the film industry back in August.
“Film has the power to distill these moments, memories, and vestiges of our culture into an art form that can be fully appreciated by our fellow Filipinos and the world. And therefore, it makes sense for us, in the Department of Tourism, to support as much as we can, this thriving industry that really does require government intervention for it to be sustainable for the long term,” the tourism chief noted, citing as well that the partnership is included in the Marcos administration’s push for transformative tourism.
But she expanded that this current collaboration with the FDCP goes beyond the establishment of the building, but toward the growing of the creative industry in the Philippines.
“What we envision with this Memorandum of Agreement today is not only the establishment of the film heritage building, but also a close collaboration and convergence between the FDCP, the DOT, as well as the TIEZA in growing the film industry of the Philippines, as well as the destination marketing for the country for films to be filmed in the Philippines. And therefore, we foresee that with our archives in cinema and film in the film industry, having a home, as well as in reaching out to the farthest reaches of the Philippines as far as the development of film tourism, it can only serve to grow the portfolio of Philippine tourism and most importantly, provide employment and livelihood to our fellow Filipinos who will benefit from expanding our film tourism portfolio,” she added.
For his part, TIEZA COO Lapid expressed his appreciation to Secretary Frasco for her openness and support. He likewise noted that the partnership with the FDCP is a manifestation of the collective commitment of the DOT and TIEZA in preserving the legacy of Philippine cinema.
“This agreement not only signifies our collective commitment to preserving our cinematic legacy, but also amplifies the allure of Intramuros as a prime tourist destination in Manila. It enhances the experience of what this iconic site can offer, making our history and culture even more accessible and engaging. Let this MOA signing serve as a sign of our dedication to nurturing our nation’s artistic and cultural architectures. Together, we make a journey that seamlessly integrates our cinematic heritage with heritage sites,” he said.
FDCP chair Cruz also thanked both the DOT and TIEZA, saying that the ceremonial signing between the agencies is a “collective dedication to safeguard and further the Philippine film heritage.”
“What we are all embarking on as we build the Film Heritage Museum is an aim to plant the seed of culture and history that will blossom and bear fruits for us, not just for our nation, but as the lasting legacy of future generations to come; one that will give all of us a deep sense of pride for cultural and national identity. Our facilities will serve as a haven for enthusiasts, a source of deep and rich knowledge for students and a treasure trove of Philippine cinema for both our fellow citizens and visitors from all around the world. Together, let’s continue to nurture and celebrate our nation’s film and artistic heritage,” he said.
The agreement involving the film heritage building shall be effective until February 25, 2045, but is also subject to renewal of the parties involved.