The Filipino Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Inc. (FILSCAP) threw its support behind the proposed “OPM Development Act of 2014” (House Bill No. 4218), sponsored by Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat. The stand of FILSCAP is explained in this Q&A, reproduced here with permission.
Q: What is House Bill 4218?
A: It is a bill filed mainly to legislate two things: (a) incentives for broadcasting at least 4 OPM per hour, and (b) the collection of equity fees from foreign performers from countries that also collect equity fees from Filipino performers.
Q: What is FILSCAP’s Position on House Bill 4218?
A: FILSCAP supports the filing of any legislative bill which seeks to help or improve the local music industry, provided there is adequate consultation with the relevant sectors during the public hearings on the bill to ensure that the concerns of those that will be directly affected will be heard and taken into account.
Q: There already exists Executive Order 255. Why is there a need for House Bill 4218?
A: Executive Order No. 255 and House Bill 4218 offer different approaches in promoting the playing of more local music:
- imposes a penalty if a certain number of local songs are not broadcasted
- covers all broadcasting organizations (i.e., all radio and TV stations)
- requires the broadcast of at least 4 local songs per hour only
- relies on coerced compliance
- imposes a tax incentive if a certain number of local songs are broadcasted
- only covers radio stations with music format
- currently requires the broadcast of at least 4 local songs per hour but the bill can be amended to require a more significant number (e.g., at least 6 local songs per hour for the initial year which can later be increased to 8 local songs per hour) to maximize the music industry’s gain from the tax incentives
- relies on voluntary compliance
Q: What is FILSCAP’s position on the current “Tax Incentives” provisions of the Bill?
A: Without prejudice to the enforcement of EO255, FILSCAP supports House Bill 4218 insofar as it seeks to promote the playing of more local compositions not only on radio but also on TV. Considering, however, that the bill seeks to achieve that purpose by granting financial rewards, the required number of original Pilipino music that should be played every hour should be significant and not just 4 original Filipino songs per hour as currently provided in the bill. The requirement should be at least 6 original Filipino songs per hour (at least for the initial year and then increased to 8 songs for the succeeding years) to maximize the music industry’s gain from the tax incentives that will be granted to the broadcasters. In this regard, FILSCAP will actively participate in the public hearings on the bill to lobby for the foregoing amendment.
Q: What is FILSCAP’s position on the “Equity Provisions” of the Bill?
A: FILSCAP recognizes that equity issues (whether equity fees should be imposed, how they should be collected, and how they should be used) are primarily the concern of the performers’ sector (i.e., singers, musicians, dancers, actors, etc.). FILSCAP encourages performers and performers’ organizations to participate in the public hearings on the bill to ensure that any issue or concern that they may have are heard and taken into account.
Q: Will FISCAP benefit from the proposed legislation of the collection of equity fees?
A: FILSCAP has never collected, and has no intention to collect or benefit from, the “equity fees” contemplated by House Bill 4218 as it is not the proper party to collect or benefit from it.
Q: The bill currently proposes the collection of the equity fees through the National Commission for Music (NCM) and the appointment of, among others, the representative of the accredited composers’ guild to be part of the NCM. Does this mean that FILSCAP (if accredited) can potentially be part of the NCM and thereby participate in the determination of how the equity fees should be collected and managed?
A: No. FILSCAP is NOT a quild for composers and so it is not even qualified to be accredited as such by the NCM. FILSCAP is a collective management organization for composers, lyricists, music publishers and other music copyright owners whose primary mandate is to license and collect the license fees for the public playing and broadcast of the musical compositions of its members and the members of its affiliate performing rights societies. While some of its members are performers, FILSCAP is only mandated to represent their interests and enforce their rights as music creators and copyright owners.