Jinggoy Estrada bemoans ‘antagonist’ tag after floating idea on K-drama ban
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Jinggoy Estrada has lamented the public’s portrayal of him as an “antagonist” after floating the idea of banning Korean drama or K-drama shows in the country.
On Tuesday, Estrada insisted in a privileged speech that he was only concerned about the Philippine movie industry, which he fears might be on the verge of collapse.
“The records of the Senate, specifically the Finance Subcommittee M, will bear me out that I was trying to take a grasp of the state that the audiovisual services sector has been in nowadays, which by and large, is on the verge of collapse even during the pre-pandemic period and which was painted in that hearing to be now in the ICU needing critical care from specialists,” he said at the Senate.
“Sadly, my statements were magnified and even misconstrued by many, including a number of industry members who are part of the more than 760,000 [workforces] in the film and AV sector, who I was trying to protect and fight for. What reverberated in the minds of many was the furthest thing from my mind. I was portrayed as a villain, an antagonist,” he added.
The senator drew controversy in October after saying during deliberations on the proposed 2023 budget of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) that a K-drama ban in the Philippines sometimes crosses his mind.
According to Estrada, he is gravely concerned about the state of the local film industry as theater group operators informed him that only nine local movies were released out of the 20 reviewed by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB).
Estrada, who used to be an actor like his father, former President Joseph Estrada, said that around 300 films were produced and shown annually during the Philippine movie industry’s heyday. However, he speculated that huge taxes and low earnings might deter film executives from producing movies.
“Nakapanlulumong isipin na may panahon na umaabot sa tatlong daan (300) ang napo-produce na pelikula kada taon. Now, it’s not even a fraction. To come up with a quality film, producers have to fork out between P10 to P30 million, according to FDCP chairperson and CEO Tirso Cruz III, and to recoup this, they have to earn at least triple or 270%,” he said.
(It’s disheartening to think that there was a time when around 300 movies were produced and shown yearly.)
“But how can an industry barely in survival mode and among the most heavily taxed entertainment in Asia, recover from its current state?” he asked.
Estrada received bashing from K-drama supporters and even local film industry members for his ban remarks, with many people bringing up past issues that the Senator was involved in.
Even fellow lawmakers like Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda disagreed with suggestions to ban K-dramas in the country, noting that it may be better to follow South Korea’s strategy to improve the Philippine entertainment industry.