SENATOR Jose “Jinggoy” E. Estrada on Wednesday defended his earlier suggestion to ban foreign shows and films, including Korean dramas, in the Philippines after drawing flak from the public while local entertainment industry workers said the government should instead increase support to the sector.
“Related to my statement yesterday on foreign-made shows, my statement stems from the frustration that while we are only too eager and willing to celebrate South Korea’s entertainment industry… We have sadly allowed our own to deteriorate because of the lack of support from the movie going public,” he said in a statement in a mix of English and Filipino.
Mr. Estrada, in a separate interview with Super Radyo dzBB on Wednesday, also clarified that he had no plans on filing a bill that disallows foreign-made shows and films in the country. His words, he explained, were only expressed “out of frustration.”
The senator, who was a film actor himself, said he had “nothing against” South Korea’s success in the entertainment field, saying that the Philippines had a lot to learn from them.
During Tuesday’s budget hearing on the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), the senator warned that if Korean telenovelas are allowed to continue, local artists will lose their jobs.
The South Korean government has supported its creative industries since the 1990s through subsidies and funding, with a goal of becoming a leading global exporter of popular culture.
Its pop acts and television dramas have successfully broken through the global scene in recent years, with boy band BTS, Netflix series Squid Game, and the 2020 Oscar-winning film Parasite among the most well-known.
FDCP Chairperson Tirso S. Cruz III, in response to the senator’s suggestion, said one of the primary programs of the agency is to focus on the creation and promotion of local films.
“It’s just that we can’t help ourselves because this is a worldwide business. We can’t stop streaming (foreign films) because it’s accepted by the world already,” Mr. Cruz said during the hearing on Tuesday.
“Our focus now really is to help Filipino producers and promote our local films.” — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan