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.
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.