Sen. Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada clarified his statements suggesting a ban on South Korean television shows in the Philippines following public backlash online.
In a statement posted on his Facebook account, Estrada stated that he bears no ill will to Korean shows, and that the statements he made only stemmed from his "frustration" that Filipinos are more willing to celebrate South Korea’s entertainment industry than the Philippines'.
"[W]e have sadly allowed our own to deteriorate because of the lack of support from the moviegoing public. I wish that the zealousness of our kababayans in patronizing foreign artists can be replicated to support our homegrown talents who I strongly believe are likewise world-class," Estrada wrote.
He stressed, "I have nothing against South Korea's successes in the entertainment field and admittedly, we have much to learn from them. Pero huwag naman nating kalimutan at balewalain ang trabaho, ang mga pinaghirapan at angking likha ng ating mga kapwa Pilipino."
"South Korea’s phenomenal success is rooted in their love of country. It is high time that we follow their example and do the same for our own entertainment industry that is at best, barely surviving," he ended.
The actor turned senator first suggested that Korean dramas and other foreign entertainment be banned during the hearing for the 2023 budget of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) on Oct. 18. He stressed that foreign shows have made it difficult for local actors to find income because Filipinos support Korean entertainment more.
"Ang aking obserbasyon 'pag patuloy tayo nagpapalabas ng Korean telenovela, ang hinahangaan ng ating mga kababayan ay itong mga Koreano at nawawalan ng trabaho at kita ‘yung ating mga artistang Pilipino," Estrada said.
"Kaya minsan pumapasok sa aking isipan na i-ban na itong mga telenovela ng mga foreigner at dapat ang mga artista nating Pilipino, na talagang may angking galing sa pag-arte, ay 'yun naman dapat ang ipalabas natin sa sariling bansa natin."
"Kung ang pino-promote natin ay mga produkto ng Koreano, kaya nagkakaroon tayo ng halos maraming produktong Korean dito sa atin imbis na i-promote natin yung sarili natin ang napro-promote natin yung mga banyaga," Estrada added.
At the same hearing, Sen. Robin Padilla called for raising the taxes on foreign entertainment in a similar way as that of the Rice Tarrification Law, which requires private sector traders to pay a 35-percent tariff for shipments from other Southeast Asian countries in exchange for unlimited importation of rice.
“Maari po bang taasan natin itong tax ng mga foreign series na pumapasok sa atin para kahit papaano po yung subsidiya nito bigay natin sa mga workers sa industriya natin, sa local, kung papaano po ginawa natin diyan sa Rice Tariffication, gawin nating 'Foreign Teleserye Tariffication' dahil marami pong nawawalan ng trabaho dito,” Padilla suggested.
Meanwhile, FDCP chairman Tirso Cruz III said that his agency will give importance to promoting Filipino-made shows through one of their programs.
"Ang isa pong pangunahing programa namin ay talagang mag-focus sa paggawa ng mga local film muna dahil sabi namin ang unang-una importante ay ang maniwala ang kapwa Pilipino sa pelikulang Pilipino," he said.
Many netizens were not pleased with Estrada's proposal, who argued that Korean shows and other foreign works are not to be blamed on why Filipino shows are not thriving in the country.
"The reason why we are behind is because of lack of support for the creative industry. Huwag isisi sa iba ang pansarili nating pagkukulang sa halip ay harapin at solusyunan," environmental activist and 2022 senatorial candidate David D'Angelo commented on a post by Pilipino Star Ngayon Digital.
Another netizen said that what needs to be addressed is the lack of good creative minds for Filipino shows, "What we need are better Filipino writers [and] open-minded directors and producers,"