In pursuant of the Republic Act No. 9167 of 2002, the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) under the Office of the President established the Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB) to evaluate and grade films submitted to FDCP for quality grading. CEB was established to undertake the mandate of FDCP to develop and implement an incentive and reward system for the producers to encourage the production of quality films here in the Philippines. (R.A. no. 9167 Sec. 3 no. 2).
The CEB encourages production of quality films in the Philippines by providing benefits to the producers of the graded film.
The Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB) is one of the many programs of Film Development Council of the Philippines. It offers film review and grading to Filipino-made films which provides benefits to the filmmakers.
The CEB upholds films that are artistically and technically outstanding. Beyond artistic and technical merits, the CEB also values films that present an innovative approach that provokes and inspires the viewers. It also nurtures films that convey a message and leaves a deep emotional and intellectual impact on the audience. This program provides tax incentives to encourage producers and filmmakers to create more films.
The CEB Secretariat organizes a CEB Review (Film Screening) every Mondays attended by at least 35% of the 31 members of the CEB Board. The CEB evaluates and grades the film right after the CEB review.
The film undergoes two (2) rounds of voting:
- First is to determine whether the film is worthy of tax incentives by voting Yes or No. If majority of the CEB Board voted no, the film will no longer proceed to the next step.
- Second and final voting is to determine whether the film is GRADED “A” or GRADED “B”.
The Cinema Evaluation System, pursuant to Sec. 11 of the Republic Act 9167 bases in, but not limited to the following elements of filmmaking:
- Direction – effective, focused and insightful integration of the different cinematic arts and crafts involved in a production, utilizing the unique strengths of the medium to dynamically depict the film’s meaning and intent
- Screenplay – story, dialogue, characters, actions, and general atmosphere to be incorporated into the finished motion picture. A superior screenplay contains a blueprint in words of an intense and imaginative vision of the world
- Cinematography – creative use of key elements of the film medium’s visual language – lighting, composition, movement, and camera techniques – to dynamically depict conflict, theme, story and character as they relate to the productions’ significant intent
- Editing – creative use of tempo, transitions, tonal changes and other editing techniques to provide the movie with the unique visual energy and style it needs to develop its plot and theme in cinematic terms
- Production Design – effective, appropriate and imaginative representation of locale, period, atmosphere, costumes, make-up hairstyles and props as they relate to character, story and style to actualize the film’s significant objective
- Music Score – creative and appropriate use of music to enhance emotion, mood and atmosphere, help define character, and establish rhythm and pacing, in furtherance of the film’s creative intent
- Sound – effective and creative interplay of dialogue, music, natural sound and recorded sound effects to give the film the aural values to generate audience empathy
- Performance – clear, honest and stylistically consistent depiction of character, emotion, motivation, and personal and societal relationships, resulting in the creation on screen of people whom viewers can understand and empathize with
After the CEB’s final voting, the FDCP furnishes a Congratulatory letter or a Letter of Not Qualified for Tax Incentives. A copy of the Summation of CEB members’ comments addressed to the applicant producer or the duly authorized representative will be sent after one (1) week.
The CEB Secretariat will issue Certificate of Excellence to the producer of the graded film to be released a month after the review.
One of the primary purpose of CEB is to give tax incentives to film producers and filmmakers through the amusement tax of every ticket sold in cinemas nationwide.
The general definition of “amusement tax” is the tax on the gross receipts from admission costs of tickets, the use or rental of any equipment/ facility and the sale of merchandise, refreshments or service at a place where entertainment is provided.
© 2018 Comptroller of Maryland
The amusement tax in films applies to the admission costs of the movie tickets. The amusement tax percentage of a film depends on the tax rates of the cinemas located in cities and municipalities in Metro Manila and other highly urbanized and independent component cities in the Philippines covered by the Republic Act no. 9167 pursuant to Sections 140 and 151 of Republic Act No. 7160.
A grade “A” or “B” film shall entitle its producer to an incentive equivalent to the amusement tax imposed and collected on the graded films at the following rates:
For grade “A” films — 100% of the amusement tax collected on such films; and
For grade “B” films — 65% of the amusement tax collected on such films. The remaining thirty-five (35%) shall accrue to the funds of the Council.
After the film has been graded, the production company of film graded favorably by the CEB will submit the film to the FDCP on or before showing/exhibition the list of theaters (LOT), Metro Manila and Provincial. The tax incentive process goes through as follows:
- The CEB Secretariat will notify the theaters about the approved exemption of amusement tax of the CEB-graded film on or before the scheduled film showing/exhibition.
- Theaters which will exhibit the CEB-graded film will notify the city government regarding the approved exemption of amusement tax as well as the duration of the film showing/exhibition.
- Representative of the movie production company will submit the Tallied Theaters Box-Office Report (BOR) to FDCP within Two (2) days after the last day of the film showing/exhibition.
- After the CEB-graded film has been commercially screened, the producer will submit a Box Office Report (BOR) to the CEB Secretariat. The tax rebates will be received by the producer once the documents has gone through the mandatory government administrative process.
- The FDCP will submit Statement of Account (SOA) to theaters within two (2) days upon receipt of the Theaters Box-Office Report (BOR).
- Theaters will deduct and withhold the amusement tax of the film graded favorably by the CEB during the period of its exhibition.
- Theaters will inform their city government by presenting the notice to theaters received that the corresponding amount of amusement tax has been withheld and paid to FDCP.
- Theaters will transmit/release the corresponding amusement tax by check payment to FDCP within thirty (30) days from the termination of the exhibition.
The FDCP awards the amusement tax rebate to the producer of CEB-graded film two (2) to three (3) months after receipt of the corresponding payment from the theaters.
The following are the cities/municipalities in which the Box Office Report (BOR) Amusement Tax rebates are applied. Updated list is available at the FDCP website: www.fdcp.ph.
- Las Piñas
- San Juan
- Angeles, Pampanga
- Bacolod, Negros Occidental
- Bais, Negros Oriental
- Batangas, Batangas
- Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental
- Cebu, Cebu
- Cotabato, North Cotabato
- Dagupan, Pangasinan
- Danao, Cebu
- Davao, Davao del Sur
- General Santos, South Cotabato
- Iligan, Lanao del Norte
- Iloilo, Iloilo
- Lapu-lapu City, Cebu
- Lucena, Quezon
- Mandaue City, Cebu
- Naga, Camarines Sur
- Olongapo, Zambales
- Ormoc, Leyte
- Puerto Princesa City, Palawan
- Santiago, Isabela
- Tacloban City, Leyte
- Zamboanga, Zamboanga del Sur
To have your feature film graded, the following requirements must be fulfilled:
Qualifications of the film for CEB Review:
- Intended for theatrical and other forms of exhibition in the Philippines that charge admission fees and are subject to amusement tax;
- Must have a total running time of at least sixty (60) minutes;
Premiere commercial screening must be held in the Philippines.
This means that:
- The film should not have had any previous commercial theatrical release, free television broadcast, cable broadcast or video release in any commercial medium anywhere in the world.
- Films shown privately in venues and theaters extended for free use, special technical previews for investors and production people is by invitation and have academic discussions or open for and films shown in the local film festivals are qualified.
- Films shown publicly in venues and theaters outside post production laboratories whose premiere nights or advanced screenings like sneak previews / midnight screenings in theaters that are charging admission fees are not qualified.
If your film is qualified, the applicant producer or the duly authorized representative may proceed to:
- Fill-up application form available online at www.fdcp.ph or at the Secretariat of the Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB) at the FDCP Office
- Submit the properly filled-up application form, Synopsis, MTRCB certificate (if applicable), OBB/CBB of the film
- Pay the required CEB screening fee to the CEB Office. Payment should be at least seven (7) days before the film’s scheduled CEB review.
Php 20,000.00 for mainstream films
Php 10,000.00 for indie films
- A flash drive containing the copy of the film for CEB review and grading should be submitted to the CEB Office in 855 T.M. Kalaw St. Ermita Manila at least one (1) week before the scheduled review.
To schedule a film review, simply write a letter addressed to the CEB, or e-mail the CEB Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The CEB accepts a maximum of three (3) applications for review every week. Once the application for review of a film is accepted, the CEB schedules the review. CEB Reviews follows a first come, first served basis. Maximum of three (3) films are scheduled for review every Tuesday of the month.
In the event the applicant producer or duly authorized representative fails to deliver the film on time for the scheduled review, the applicant producer shall be liable for the expenses incurred related to the review, including the costs of food, venue and honoraria of the CEB Board members.
If applicant producer or duly authorized representative fails to deliver/submit a scheduled film for review for three (3) consecutive times, the CEB will not entertain his/her future application for the particular film.
The Movie And Television Review And Classification Board (MTRCB) and FDCP’s Cinema Evaluation Board are both Government initiatives.
The MTRCB is the government agency responsible for rating television and film for the Philippines. (c) 2018 MTRCB. Their mandate can be accessed through their website, www.mtrcb.gov.ph.
MTRCB classifies and rates films whether they are for General Patronage, Parental Guidance, or others while the CEB grades the films by their quality to encourage filmmakers to aim to create better quality films.
The Cinema Evaluation Board encourages, but not requires all films to go through MTRCB first before submitting to CEB for review. If the film to be submitted has scenes which the applicant producer believes the MTRCB will suggest deleting or editing, the film must be submitted first to the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board because the film that the CEB will review and evaluate will have to be the same version to be released for exhibition.
In the case the film has already been GRADED FAVORABLY by the CEB and is then submitted to the MTRCB for audience classification for which changes are done on the film (i.e. re-editing to shorten scenes, re-mixing, etc.), the FDCP requires a resubmission of said film to the CEB to ensure that the film maintains its “A” or “B” grading; Resubmission seeks ONLY to maintain its first grading and is subject to a fee of P20,000 for mainstream and P10,000 for indie film.
The following are strictly prohibited by the CEB Secretariat. Failure to comply with these prohibitions will automatically disqualify the film for review.
- Applicant producers, duly authorized representatives or any member of the cast, staff or crew are not allowed to stay inside the preview room/venue during screenings and deliberations.
- No gifts from any party involved in the production will be accommodated nor received.
- Tampering a CEB-graded film will result in cancellation of the tax rebate. Tampering includes causing damage or making unauthorized alterations to the film after it has already been graded.
The Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB) is a body of the Film Development Council of the Philippines, tasked with grading Filipino films by quality.
The CEB was established in 2003, succeeding the Film Ratings Board (FRB) which became defunct in early 2002. Like its predecessor, it gives tax rebates to films depending on their grading but unlike the FRB, the CEB's powers to give tax rebates are mandated by law.