Bill on proper rendition of national anthem approved by House

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 27) — The House of Representatives approved on third and final reading House Bill 5224 (HB 5224), the bill updating the rules on the rendition of the National Anthem.

In a statement released yesterday, the House of Representatives said HB 5224 "updates, among others, the rules on the rendition of the national anthem, expressly repealing Republic Act No. 8491 or the 'Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines.'"

The Bill states the national anthem must be sung with fervor following the prescribed lyrics and with a salute – with all persons standing at attention with their right palms over the left chests.

It adds, "The military and those in military training and security guards in uniform shall give the salute prescribed by their regulations. The salute shall be completed upon the last note of the anthem."

It does provide, however, for people whose faith or religious beliefs prevent them from singing Lupang Hinirang. The Bill said they must, "nontheless, show full respect when the anthem is being sung or played on record by standing at attention."

HB 5224 states the anthem must be committed to memory by all individuals.

It said the rendition of the national anthem shall be according to the composition of Julian Felipe. To ensure that interpretation is standard, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), in coordination with proper agencies, "shall disseminate an official music score sheet that reflects the manner in which the national anthem shall be played or sung."

The anthem should be sung in Filipino, the national language. However it can be rendered in other languages and dialects upon the approval of the NHCP.

The Bill warns the anthem shall not be played and sung preceding events of mere recreation, amusement or entertainment purposes, except on the following occasions:

international competitions where the Philippines is the host or has a representative

national or local sports competitions

during the "signing off" and "signing on" of radio and television broadcasting stations

before the initial and last screening of films and before the opening of theater performances

other occasions as may be allowed by the NHCP.

HB 5224 will impose penalties should the provisions not be followed, among them a fine of not less than P50,000 but not exceeding P100,000.

Read the full version of House Bill 5224 here.