Philippines citizens may have to work on their singing skills because they might end up in jail if they don’t.
According to a new bill, approved by the country's House of Representatives citizens are required to sing the national anthem, "Lupang Hinirang," “with fervor” in public.
A lackluster performance can result in fines between $1,000 to $2,000 and up to a year of jail time. Moreover, citizens convicted of violating the proposed law repeatedly will also reportedly be "named and shamed" in a national newspaper.
And even though the country’s controversial president, Rodrigo Duterte, who is notorious for adopting an aggressive approach toward drug lords, doesn't have anything planned to tackle the extremist groups in the Philippines, forcing patriotism among citizens is apparently worth it.
"Some Filipinos don't even know all the words to the national anthem,” said Marlyn Alonte, one of the bill's sponsors.
According the bill, known as the "Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines," it will be mandatory for students to memorize the anthem at public and private schools. Furthermore, the anthem 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 tempo between 100 and 120 beats per minute.
All Filipinos are required to stand during the anthem and face the flag, or the band and conductor in case of no flag. Casting contempt, dishonor or ridicule upon the national anthem is considered a violation of the law.
However, the bill doesn’t mention how it would measure a person’s enthusiasm while singing the national hymn.
Some in the Philippines expressed disappointment on social media over this bizarre patriotism-instilling measure while the country is already inundated with many pressing issues.
Instead of focusing on the Lupang Hinirang and unli rice, why don't our politicians try to fix real problems like the Metro Manila traffic?— Julian Mauricio (@JulianMauricio) June 27, 2017
Seriously? Penalizing people who sang Lupang Hinirang improperly when they can't even penalized politicians who has no respect for the law?— Ping Guerrero (@lebrante001) June 27, 2017
How will I make 'kumpas' to 'Lupang Hinirang' if ever that unenthusiastic anthem singing bill passes through: pic.twitter.com/f78j1vZIYZ— your concert kuya (@sambagtas) June 29, 2017
@legallyzen a legal question for you - what if I sing the Lupang Hinirang with gusto and not with fervor, am I in trouble???— R.I.P. Philippines (@_QuePasaChica_) June 29, 2017
Singing wrongly the #LupangHinirang will be penalized, while politicians spending our money ?? illegally parang wala pa?— iamalpoy (@Choosealpoy) June 27, 2017