Filipino citizens could be fined or jailed for refusing to sing their national anthem with appropriate gusto under a new bill proposed by the country’s parliament.
The law, approved by the House of Representatives on Monday, requires that singing along when the anthem, the Lupang Hinirang, is played a public gatherings “shall be mandatory and must be done with fervor”.
If signed off by the Senate, violators would be punished with fines of £780-£1,560 or up to one year in prison. A second offense would include both a fine and jail time and offenders may also be publicly “named and shamed” in a national newspaper.
“Any act which casts contempt, dishonor or ridicule upon the national anthem shall be penalized,” the bill says.
According to the Philippine Inquirer, all citizens must stand to attention facing the Philippine flag, if displayed, or the band or conductor.
The bill also provides precise official music for the tune, which was composed by Julian Felipe and adopted as the anthem in 1938. A 2/4 beat is mandated when the music is played and 4/4 when it is sung.