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Ifugao rep pushes for OPM promotion

By Maria Elena Catajan

Thursday, March 20, 2014

IFUGAO Representative Teddy Brawner Baguilat is pushing for the promotion of Original
Pilipino Music (OPM).
Baguilat filed a bill to promote, protect and develop the local Philippine music industry known as
the OPM Development Act of 2014, seeking to institutionalize the playing of at least four OPM
songs by broadcast organizations and entitle those that play the minimum to a tax credit,
considering the power of radio to entice listeners to appreciate and original compositions of
The bill seeks to strengthen the National Committee on Music under the Subcommission on the
Arts of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, as part of the constitutional provision
the State is tasked to "conserve, promote and popularize" the nations cultural heritage and
resources, as well as artistic creations including music.
The National Committee on Music (NCMusic), under the Subcommission on the Arts (SCA), is
one of the 19 national committees of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA),
the cultural arm of the government.
As part of the overall coordinating and policy-making body of the NCCA, NCMusic has
conscientiously pursued meaningful and relevant endeavors that will promote the total
development of the Filipino artist and audience. Working together with the rest of the national
committees, the NCMusic has devoted its resources towards attaining its general objectives and
addressing identified areas of concern.
Baguilat said the OPM bill needs to be passed as popularization of OPM among Filipinos
"remains a colossal challenge" given the proliferation of foreign music and the arrival of more
foreign artists on local shores, thus posing stiff competition with Filipino artists.
"The Philippines should take measures to protect its local artists and further promote Filipino
music," Baguilat said.
The bill also calls to strengthen the equity system mandating foreign artists to pay a certain fee
before they are allowed to perform in the Philippines.

Flash mob gives Cubao LRT riders a
taste of PHL Arts Festival in February
January 21, 2014 4:15pm

Imagine waking up on Monday morning, groggy from a festive Sunday and expecting the sterile
emptiness of Cubao's LRT 2 station to shake you out of your daydreams.

If you were on the way to work or school that day, the eclectic sounds and colors from the
National Commission for Culture and the Arts' (NCCA) flash mob might've fooled you into
thinking you were still in a dream.

Modern, traditional, and jazz dances mixed with sounds from traditional instruments and even a
portrait sessionall part of the NCCA's promotion of the Philippine Arts Festival (PAF) in

The festival, according to a report on GMA's "State of the Nation", aims to "pedestrianize" the
arts and bring it closer to the public.

"Ang kultura, palaging nagpupunta sa least priority. Pero ang culture is the basis of all social
life. Kung walang kultura, anong gagawin natin?," said NCCA Felipe de Leon Jr. in the report.

The PAF is part of the National Arts Month , formed by the flagship programs of the NCCA's
seven subcommissions: architecture, cinema, dance, literature, music, theater and the visual

The PAF and the NCCA came under fire in November after a photograph showing the latter's
cultural ambassadors showed up on the PAF's Facebook account.

The moderator for PAF's page responded to comments by saying the ambassadors "were
chosen for their ability to encourage people, particularly the youth and the masses who are not
aware of various art forms or are not into the arts, to participate in the activities related to said
art forms."

NCCA's head of public affairs Rene Napenas said the ambassadors were chosen as celebrity
spokespersons, and did not mean the individuals represented the best of the art forms they
were assigned to.

Recognizing the advances in different art forms, PAF's theme this year is "Art on the
Edge." The festival aims to tackle the "modern evolution of art" and creation in different regions
of the Philippines.
Rie Takumi/BM, GMA News

Local artists push legislations to promote OPM
March 21, 2014 9:08 pm
by Sheila Maalac

The day-long Pinoy Music Summit 2014 titled, Basta Pinoy Push Mo Yan, on Wednesday
confirmed the long-standing claim of music industry players that Original Pilipino Music (OPM) is
in a downward spiral, despite annual songwriting competitions, big-budgeted concerts,
and the expensive production of compact disc (CD) albums.

Speakers in the forum said the sectors problems have caused a 75-percent decline in record
sales over the last decade, which effectively put the music industrys fate in peril. Among the
solutions they proposed are legislations promoting local compositions and artists.

Stakeholders from various recording companies, composers, artists as well as music advocates
from different sectors of society, convened for the first time to discuss the true state of the
Philippine Music Industry, in the hope of arresting the decline of OPM appreciation among
Filipinos, and ultimately devising concrete measures to protect and promote homegrown
talents and compositions.

For such a long time, the dominant music in the country is foreign, declared Noel Cabangon,
the president of Filipino Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Inc. (Filscap). Its
bothersome because if foreign music dominates the industry, what does this teach the Filipino
society, especially the youth? Since music is a cultural expression, we need to instill, enliven
and embrace Filipino music in the country.

Cabangon explained that the aim of the summit was two-pronged: to contribute to the economy
through the promotion and expansion of the local music market and to push stakeholders to
make recommendations and commit to promoting and reviving OPM.

Besides the dominance of foreign music, another hurdle in the way of OPMs progress is the
tendency of local recording companies to play it safe by releasing revivals and album
compilations that appeal to the market bracket of 35-year-olds who still buy audio CDs.

Recording companies have been producing much less albums the past decade than they have
in previous decades, said Ryan Cayabyab, executive director of the Philpop Foundation who
opened the summit with his talk on the State of the Philippine Music Industry.

Foreign labels have enough capital to continue launching new albums in this environment,
and local labels have also been more risk-averse in investing in new local artists, Cayabyab

The digital age has also affected the Philippine music market, as local and foreign songs are
easily promoted and accessible through the Internet.

According to a Nielsen report, 37 percent of Filipinos, especially within the 15- to 30-year-old
age group, download or upload music files.

Stakeholders in the music industry also recognize that until now there has been no established
model in the Philippines that connects the artist or musical work with listeners.

[The year] 1999 is considered the peak of the Philippine recording industry with total industry
CD sales reaching P2.7 billion. Since then, album sales have gone down to P699 million by
2010. That represents a 75-percent drop in revenues for recording companies in one decade,
Cayabyab cited.

Given this volatile state, musicians, businessmen and government officials who were present at
the summit made their respective recommendations on how to reinforce a better business
environment for local recording companies and provide artists more opportunities to nurture
their talent.

In the Senate, several bills are being pushed to protect OPM. Sen. Teofisto TG Guingona 3rd
who chairs the committee on culture and the arts pushed for tax exemptions and subsidies for
artists and labels that promote local music.

Senate Bill 1707 filed by Sen. Lito Lapid, meanwhile, endorses the creation of a musical
industry development council.

We are also pushing for the inclusion of OPM in the National Development Plan. We recognize
the importance of music in the Filipino culture, which is the soul of the country, Guingona said.
Sen. Benigno Paolo Bam Aquino 4th who chairs the committee on trade business and
entrepreneurship reported that the government is compelling the Department of Education
(DepEd) to include music development in its K-to-12 curriculum to harness the youths
appreciation for local songs.

Moreover, the senators promised to monitor the strict implementation of Executive Order 255
signed by former President Corazon Aquino, which requires radio stations to play at least four
OPM songs every hour, and possibly even enacting this into a law.

According to Cabangon, who himself is a well-known singer-songwriter, we want to make a
paradigm shift, to move forward not in only in the traditional way, but to [make a] shift especially
in perspective to build a vibrant and sustainable music industry anchored on OPM.

On its part Filscap, together with various groups in the music industry, has pushed for the
legislation of the OPM Development Act of 2014 that encourages the development and
performance of OPM artists, while increasing the play list of Filipino music on radio.

Its not only the artists that are feeling the slump, but record labels as well. But we still ask
them, do they just want to be distributors of foreign music, or do they also want to promote and
sell local music?

But it cannot just be the record labels acting on the problem. It must be a collective effort of
artists, companies and the government to revive the Philippine music industry, Cabangon

Besides Filscap, the summit brought together the Philippine Association of Record Industry Inc.,
the Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit, the Asosasyon ng Musikong Pilipino Foundation,
the Philpop MusicFest Foundation and other concerned agencies.