MANILA — Former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has expressed his support for the Philippine movie industry and announced his intention to encourage the staging of more film festivals to promote quality Filipino films.
During the 2018 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) Gabi ng Parangal (Awards Night) held at the Solaire Resort and Casino in Parañaque City on Thursday evening, Go noted that holding similar film festivals multiple times a year would encourage moviemakers to create more quality films to cater to different audiences.
“Una sa lahat, gusto kong magkaroon ng ganitong mga festival para bigyan pa ng opportunities ‘yung pelikulang Pilipino na bumangon muli. Ang dami ko pong kaibigan na artista at marami silang hinaing po na sana bumalik na (ang sigla) ng industriya ng pelikulang Pilipino (First of all, I want more of these festivals to be held to give the Philippine film industry more opportunities to rise again. I have many friends in the movie industry who have been yearning for its revival),” Go told reporters.
The former SAP and 2019 senatorial candidate said that in the past, he wanted to craft measures to help ensure the viability of the local movie and television industry.
For decades, he said, the industry has been providing the people not only entertainment but also employment and business opportunities.
“Malaking tulong ang industriya hindi lang sa ekonomiya, kundi pati rin sa pagpapasaya ng pamilyang Pilipino at pag-promote ng kultura at tamang asal sa kabataan (The industry is a big help not only to the economy but also in entertaining the Filipino family and in promoting culture and good moral values among the youth),” Go said.
He said he has been sharing with various luminaries, whom he considers as friends, his ideas on how to strengthen the industry, which is currently facing stiff competition not only from foreign movies screened locally but also from legal and illegal online streaming platforms.
“Kaya naman natin. We can be at par with the foreign films naman po, kung talagang susuportahan ng ating mga producers and, of course, ng mga manunuod po (We can do it. We can be at par with foreign films if we get the support of producers and moviegoers),” he said.
Go said in a previous interview that pirates and unscrupulous businesses have preyed on the “fruits of sweat, love, and labor” of the local film industry.
If elected to the Senate, he said he would push for “strategies to crack down on these illegal businesses and strengthen the campaign against piracy.”
Recalling the heyday of the Philippine cinema that inspired and entertained generations of Filipino fans, Go said there is no doubt in the capability of the local film industry to create stories with depth and value and at par with foreign production, given proper support and protection.
“We need to amplify the quality of Philippine cinema, especially to our youth. If we are to uniquely identify ourselves as Filipinos, we need more Filipino-made films,” he said.
Bong Go attended the 2018 MMFF Gabi ng Parangal as a member juror. Along with other members of the MMFF jury, he chose which entries would be receiving awards that night.
As a candidate in the 2019 midterm elections, Go’s legislative agenda covers programs for health, agriculture, housing, education, long-term sports development, localized peace talks, fire protection and prevention, creation of a Department of OFWs, barangay welfare, as well as improved benefits for senior citizens.
In his interview, Go assured the public that in addressing the needs of various sectors, such as the Philippine movie industry, as well as other national issues, he can be counted on to serve the people through his experience and dedication to public service.
“Of course, ready na po. Twenty years na po akong nagtatrabaho, nagseserbisyo sa mga Pilipino. ‘Yun na po ang aking almusal, pananghalian, at hapunan: pagtatrabaho at pagsisilbi sa Pilipino (Of course, I’m ready. I have been working and serving the Filipino people for 20 years. Work and service to the Filipino people are what I have for breakfast, lunch and dinner),” he said.
Aside from discussing the Philippine movie industry, Go also reiterated that President Rodrigo Duterte’s health is in good condition.
“He is in tip-top condition and I assure you po na kaya niyang tapusin ang kanyang termino sa(that he can complete his term in) 2022 and can live beyond,” Go clarified. (PR)