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Bill granting custom duties exemption to donations to proposed Creative Arts System pushed in Congress

The House Committee on Ways and Means has swiftly approved a substitute bill seeking to exempt from custom duties materials that will be donated to the proposed Philippine High School for Creative Arts (PHSCA) System.


The House panel, chaired by Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda nodded to the request made by Lanao del Norte 1st District Rep. Mohamad Khalid Dimaporo to pass the unnumbered substitute bill during a recent virtual meeting.

The bill calls for the creation of the PHSCA System which are secondary schools offering full scholarships to deserving students with considerable potential in the fields of performing arts, creative writing, visual arts, and applied arts.

“I hope that this committee immediately passes this so that we can revive our creative arts in our K to 12,” Dimaporo, one of the main proponents of the bill, said in his sponsorship speech.

“This bill is similar to the National Academy for Sports System which is now a law in order to breathe life into our arts track, now it is going to be creative art system,” he said, referring to Republic Act No. 11470, which creates and establishes the National Academy of Sports. It was signed into law on June 9, 2020.

Nueva Ecija 2nd District Rep. Estrellita B. Suansing moved for the approval of the substitute measure with amendments that aims to exempt from custom duties, upon certification by the Department of Education, the importation of equipment relating to creative industry, books, art related supplies, musical instruments, materials and goods.

Her proposal was further amended by Salceda, as he sought to spare the “importation of equipment relating to creative industry” from custom duties.

Under the bill, the importation shall only be in such numbers as may be required in the development of programs, and/or training of students and that all importations shall be made in the name of PHSCA System as recipient and shall be immediately registered in the name of PHSCA System.

The substitute measure also provides that all grants, bequest, endowments, donations and contributions made to the PHSCA, to be used actually, directly and exclusively used by the PHSCA, shall be exempt from donor’s tax.

The same shall be considered as allowable deduction from the gross income of the donor for purposes of computing the taxable income of the donor in accordance with the provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended.

Under PHSCA System, admitted students shall be trained under a special curriculum oriented in the fields of architecture and allied arts, cinema, dance, dramatic arts, literary arts, music, visual arts, design, digital fabrication and new media, along with financial literacy, entrepreneurship skills, and basic knowledge on intellectual property rights.

The bill seeks to provide quality education to students while preparing them for various creative industry related career as well a readiness for entrepreneurial endeavors or employment. It also aims to provide a continuing source of artists of excellence and leaders in the preservation and promotion of culture, arts and the creative industry in the Philippines.

Under the measure, the PHSCA System shall be administratively attached to the DepEd in consultation with the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) for program implementation.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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