BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance requiring all movie theaters to provide the local government free screen time before the start of the of every film showing for purposes of educating the viewers on reducing garbage, and for other public service information and announcements.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. stated that all cinema or cinematheque owners or operators within the city will be required to allot free screen time in their establishments before the start of every film for the local government to promote an intensive information, education and communication campaign on solid waste management reduction practices.
Yangot claimed the allocated free screen time shall not be more than 60 seconds so as not to burden the owners of the said establishments.
The ordinance tasked the City General Services Office in close coordination with the City Tourism Office and other relevant local government departments or offices to produce an audio-visual presentation with a maximum running time of 60 seconds to be played prior to the showing of a film in all theaters and that the same shall be replaced regularly subject to the content that will be provided for the purpose.
The ordinance will authorize the City Mayor to enter into an agreement or contract containing reasonable terms and conditions with any cinema or cinematheque owner or operators to effectively accomplish the purpose of the proposed local legislative measure.
The ordinance explained that wilful failure of the cinema or cinematheque owner or operator to run the produced audio-visual presentation under the provisions of the measure shall be punished with a fine of P5,000 for each film showing day that the same was not shown.
The ordinance pointed out that the budget for the production of the audio-visual presentation shall be taken from the approved budget of the City General Services office and that the said department will be tasked primarily to implement the provisions of the measure.
Section 7, Article 3 of the 1987 Constitution stated that the right of the people to information on matters of public concern is a revered right.
Further, Section 16 of Republic Act (RA) 7160 or the Local Government Code of the Philippines provided that every local government unit shall exercise the powers expressly granted, those necessarily implied therefrom, as well as powers necessary, appropriate or incidental for its efficient and effective governance, and those which are essential to the promotion of the general welfare.
Yangot emphasized that visual media, especially cinemas, have a uniquely pervasive presence and great influence in peoples’ lives, as it is generally popular for all regardless of age and social demographics.
In order to help advance the local government’s efforts to address the problem of solid waste disposal, he claimed that it is inevitably important to utilize effective communications media, such as screen time in cinemas and cinematheques.
While cinemas and cinematheques are recognized as private enterprises, Yangot asserted it is also recognized as well under the law that the use of property bears a social function, and the right to own, establish and operate economic enterprises is subject to the duty of the State. By Dexter A. See