Philippines House of Representatives has approved a bill requiring Filipinos to sing the country’s national anthem, Lupang Hinirang, “with fervour” whenever it is played publicly.
If the bill, which will be considered by the Senate, is approved and signed into law, a failure to sing the anthem with sufficient energy would be punishable by up to a year in prison and a fine of 50,000 to 100,000 pesos, or about $1,000 to $2,000. A second offence would include both a fine and prison time and violators would be penalised by “public censure” in a newspaper.
The measure did not define how it would qualify whether or not a citizen sang the anthem with enough fervour.
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The bill does provide a stipulation for those “whose faith or religious beliefs prohibit them from singing the national anthem”: They must “show full respect” and stand at attention.
The goal of the bill is to instil patriotism and respect.
Some other stipulations in the bill: All students at public and private schools would be required to memorise the anthem. It should be played in accordance with its original composition, a 2/4 time signature when played instrumentally and a 4/4 time signature when sang. It should be played at a temp between 100 and 120 beats per minute. All people are required to stand and face the flag during the anthem, or the band and conductor if there is no flag. Casting contempt, dishonour or ridicule upon the national anthem is considered a violation of the law, CNN reported.