chuvaness
Why ticket prices are sky high in the Philippines
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Ever wonder why Filipinos pay so much money foreign acts in concerts in Manila, even though we sometimes have to stand in the rain in some reclaimed area/parking lot in a god-forsaken place?
OPM, that’s why. OPM apparently demands a very high fee from any foreign act performing in Manila. This includes the international touring group of Mamma Mia that is set to perform at the CCP this January 24-Februrary 12.

Instead of feeling insecure about foreign artists performing here, OPM should be more nationalistic and consider:
1. All the hotel rooms these people are going to occupy = tourism
2. All the Filipinos who will enjoy watching a real performance of Mamma Mia, fresh from abroad, instead of having to fly to another country to see it
3. Whatever happened to “it’s more fun in the Philippines?” You are actually making it “more hassle in the Philippines.”
4. It’s not only the Filipinos would enjoy watching Mamma Mia at the CCP, it would also give tourists/foreigners/expats something else to look forward to besides our ho-hum malls.
5. Your exorbitant fees are absorbed by the producers who pass it on to the consumers. That explains why it’s more expensive to watch concerts and shows in the Philippines. Thank you very much.

Read on and let us know what you think in the comments section.

OPM to stop ‘Mamma Mia!’ if million-peso fee not paid
By: ,
January 21, 2012 | 2:01 am

MANILA, Philippines—The Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM) is considering filing an injunction or temporary restraining order against the local promoter of the international touring production of the long-running West End and Broadway musical, “Mamma Mia!,” set to open Jan. 24 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
Elmar Beltran Ingles, OPM executive director, told the Inquirer on Friday that the local promoter Concertus Inc. had not paid the equity clearance, a requirement for all foreign artists performing in the Philippines, which is bound by a memorandum of agreement between the singers’ union and the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

“We’ve been talking with the promoter since November last year and were willing to give a 20-percent discount because the amount due is P1.8 million which is huge,” said Beltran.
The equity clearance fee—Php 5,000 per performer per show—Beltran said, goes to the OPM fund that pays for medical treatment and other emergency expenses of singer members.
But Concertus managing director Bambi Verzo said the BI had issued a special permit for the performers in the musical, which will have a four-week run.

“We were being charged double [from the original amount of Php 900,000] because OPM said December to February is a peak season for local shows. We discussed the situation with the BI.”
Verzo told the Inquirer that her office paid the bureau Php 367,000 for the special permit.
She did not explain why she paid an amount much lower than the OPM’s asking price.

Beltran pointed out that the amount does not cover the equity clearance. “We suspect something happened inside the BI without the knowledge of the top officials,” he said. “Ogie Alcasid (OPM president) has been trying to contact the immigration commissioner (Ricardo David Jr.) but it seems his calls are being ignored. We may bring the matter to the attention of President Aquino.”

Verzo, whose group has produced other international productions including “Cats” and “The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber,” also at the CCP, said she didn’t see a problem. “We have the official permit, including the receipt of payment. That should settle the issue.”
Beltran said OPM will wait until Monday for Concertus to meet with them.

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Guest

I just don’t see the point of charging these foreign acts to perform in our country. It’s simply absurd. The prices of their concerts in other countries are way cheaper even if converted to pesos. This would entice the Filipino fans to just fly to another country and watch them there. And, it’s not like charging these foreign acts would boom the sales of local music anyway. That long message by that OPM person didn’t make sense at all. He just kept on blabbing and used highfaluting words but I still didn’t get the point of them charging high amounts… Read more »

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Guest

Dear Ms. Zamora/Chuvaness, Please see below a response by OPM Executive Director Elmar Ingles. Hoping that after this you may have a better scope of the situation that confront local artists/acts and the schemes that have been designed to protect them. Here is the link on facebook (http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150621606007065) But just in case here it is:  Why ticket prices are high in the Philippines: The Facts Behind the Equity Issue Whatever shows you’re watching, Ms. Chuvaness, you better check your math and review your economics and the Philippine Constitution. Last time we checked, local plays charge only between a minimum of 300 to… Read more »

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delisyoso

I beg to disagree. Ita-taglish ko para mas madaling maintindihan.   In the long run, having more international acts in the country with less expensive ticket prices will boost the country’s economy as well as the local art.  This will push local artists to work harder in producing world class shows and performances that would equal these foreign acts – this will make OPM artists to be more competitive.  Kaya siguro mediocre shows are produced by the local artists it’s because tutal meron namang magsu-suport pala sa kanila mag produce man sila o hinde.  On hindsight, OPM may even desire these… Read more »

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Anonymous

If the price was already agreed upon, why would OPM double it?

OPM is protecting its members and not all singers. 
Mamma Mia comprises of Stage Actors and not singers.

OPM is a private organization of singers which had an agreement with a government agency to collect fees for its members.
So paano na yung mga non-members na singers?

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Leng

Also, does anybody know kung kailangan bayaran/binabayaran ang foreign artists/writers every time ginagamit ang melody/their lyrics for local commercials and variety shows?

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Anonymous

Are theater performers members of OPM? or you/they have an entirely different group?

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Bizzy_tim

people from guam actually fly 3.5 hours to manila just to watch concerts. so hello tourism.

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Guest

“The equity clearance fee—Php 5,000 per performer per show—Beltran said, goes to the OPM fund that pays for medical treatment and other emergency expenses of singer members.” My understanding of this is that “singer members” means members of the OPM. So, foreign acts shoulder the costs of medical treatment, etc. of the local artists? WTF?!?!?!? Is my understanding correct, because this is really making my blood boil. Because it can’t mean that it’s for the emergency expenses of the foreign act, for sure. I’m sure they have their own insurance and/or their internal policies on how to handle medical emergencies.… Read more »

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Leng

I remember that Kuh Ledesma concert. Sino nga ‘yung foreign artist/group na tinry nyang pigilan magperform? LOL

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Guest

Please write to that bully OPM and let them know what we think.

Office Address:Unit 3016, Elan Swire Condominium/Hotel – No. 49 Annapolis Street, Greenhills, San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines
Telephones:(02) 503-9878
Telefax:(02) 576-5069
Email:opmsingers@gmail.com
Mobile:09052689330 / 09167605447

Got that info from their website (which seriously needs a new and more modern design!).

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Anonymous

Medical treatment and emergency expenses?!

Why can’t the funds raised from this equity fee go to actual, worthwhile projects that promote original Filipino music instead?

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Anonymous

I will not say that we Filipinos are not patriotic but I think we are “universal”, so we go gaga over foreign acts and watch broadway musicals. However, OPM is going down, evident in the number of covers and revivals released by currrent OPM artists now. I am amazed by my Indian officemates because they only listen to Indian music. They dont know the Beatles or Beyonce!kaloka! Since I am not in Pnas now, I cant watch Mama Mia. I regret not seeing it when we were in London. OPM artists should extract more creative juices and bring back the… Read more »

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ethelkatrina

Maybe this is one reason why the Foo Fighters are performing in Singapore rather than here, despite Dave Grohl’s appreciation of Filipino fans (via his tweets / shoutouts). But I’m still watching the show in Singapore, and yeah, I’m spending my ‘tourism’ money there rather than here.  In that concert, I was pleasantly surprised to see there was a single ticket price— for everybody. No SVIP / VIP / Titanium tickets that honestly take the fun away from the real fans and just give the prime seats to sponsors. That’s another story actually, but maybe still related to the fact… Read more »

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Guest

ZOMG oo nga noh no wonder Foo Fighters  won’t be performing here i’m sure tinaga!!!! #*@(@)!)!!!! 

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Leng

Even worse, many really really good OPM bands don’t benefit a cent or even a part of the attention they deserve. Mga ganyan lang na paulit ulit na renditions ng lumang kanta.

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Drew

1) This explains why filipinos rather fly abroad to watch a concert (and shop and stay in foreign hotel) than watch here – so in reality local tourism is lost because of the OPM.  2) How on earth do you explain this (stealing) to foreigner investors who would like to bring in a show here?: “The equity clearance fee—Php 5,000 per performer per show—Beltran said, goes to the OPM fund that pays for medical treatment and other emergency expenses of singer members” – what a joke!  [Reply]Di Reply:January 21st, 2012 at 11:49 PMPrecisely! Shouldn’t they be getting the fund from somewhere… Read more »

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Di

Precisely! Shouldn’t they be getting the fund from somewhere else, via fund raising or contributions from members instead of freeloading. 

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Drew

OPM should be destroyed asap, it is institutions or organizations like these that will STOP the Philippines from getting out of the dirt. 

This is “WOW Philippines!” in a bad way. 

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Anonymous

Thank you for exposing this. Now we know why! 

It always boggled me whenever I compare ticket prices for foreign musicians staging concerts in Manila to the equivalent event in say, Singapore or Hong Kong, the difference is not that high and sometimes ours is even more expensive considering the fact that relatively, standard of living in this country is very low. Now I know why.

Just imagine the possibilities if OPM is not doing this, Manila is already a preferred concert venue in Southeast Asia.

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big_chill

I’d rather pay Php5,000.00 for a world class talent / act than pay half of it for a local talent that we see every week (sometimes daily) on tv and doesn’t offer anything new for the paying public. eh minsan nga sila rin kandarapa sa pag-reserve / pagbili ng tickets sa mga foreign acts na ito.

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Passive Observer

I cannot understand why OPM would be asking for equity money. As I see it it should at least be TAG or the theater actors guild, not them, that should be asking for protection. If OPM wants to raise funds for thier members, they can do it some other way, not black mail the producers. Those people already paid the special permit visas and most probably will be paying for the taxes due on the play what more is needed? The thing is, if they (OPM) think that they are at a losing end because the foreign production is competing… Read more »

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Carla

As a fan of Broadway shows, this really annoys me. When we bought tickets for Cats some time ago, what i thought was already a very big amount only got us a stratospheric spot in the CCP na kelangan pa magbinoculars. Grrrr. I was initially raring to watch this Mamma Mia production until I saw the tickets prices and figured that if I didn’t want a repeat of the Cats incident, I’d have to shell out not less than P5k. Sorry but I can’t afford to splurge that big an amount. Sabi ko I’ll just watch the DVD movie nalang… Read more »

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Guest

Other countries can have musicals/concerts, why can’t we? It’s going to make our country a bit more ‘world-class’ (whatever that means) Some people talaga can be so narrow minded… Seriously, OPM Fund? [Reply]CVS Reply:January 21st, 2012 at 1:44 PMWicked is showing at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, and I know a few Filipinos who flew there to watch. Shows like these boost tourism. Calling DOT! [Reply]kerwin go Reply:January 21st, 2012 at 2:38 PMFriends went to see Wicked during the christmas break and was told by the Pinoy front desk person that almost all the rooms in Marina bay sands were occupied… Read more »

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Guest

This is called protectionism. And any industry which government protects by way of stupid taxes and exorbitant fees will not allow the local industry to grow, improve and compete. That includes theatre and concerts. We’ve seen that and we saw the wonders of competition. PAL and PLDT are great examples who tried to up their ante because of competition and where we enjoyed the wonders of some major price cuts. No wonder, most concerts by Pinoy artists abroad are just targeting Pinoy audiences because they could not produce world class shows, only local-job performances. And that’s sad because we have always… Read more »

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Guest

It’s really frustrating when people just refuse to see the bigger picture. 

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