OPM wants to stop Mamma Mia! show; demands equity from its local producer

Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM) is seeking help from the Bureau of Immigration to collect from local producer Concertus Inc. the required equity clearance of foreign artists in the musical show Mamma Mia! This West End and Broadway show started its run last Tuesday, January 24, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and is set to end on February 19.


Nakiusap ang Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM) na ipahinto muna ang musical show na Mamma Mia! hangga’t hindi pa nababayaran ng mga producer nito ang nakatakdang equity.

Ayon sa ulat ng ABS-CBN News, na lumabas noong Miyerkulas, Enero 25, nakiusap ang OPM—sa pamumuno ng mga opisyal nito na sina Ogie Alcasid at Mitch Valdez—sa Bureau of Immigration (BI) para tulungan silang masingil ang halos P1.8 million na equity clearance ng mga foreign artists na kasama sa nasabing musical.

Ang West End at Broadway musical na Mamma Mia! ay nagsimulang ipalabas noong Martes, Enero 24, sa Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Ito ay magtatagal hanggang Pebrero 19. (CLICK HERE to read related article.)

Samantala, ipinaliwanag naman ni BI spokesperson Atty. Tonette Mangrobang na ang Mamma Mia! ay "exempted" sa requirement na ito dahil ito ay isang theater group at nakakuha sila ng endorsement mula sa Asosasyon ng Musikang Pilipino (AMP).

Sinabi rin ni Atty. Mangrobang na nakapagbayad ang Concertus Inc., ang producer ng Mamma Mia!, ng halos P300,000 para sa special working permits ng 57 artists ng stage musical.

Sinubukan ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) na humingi ng pahayag mula sa Concertus Inc. kaninang tanghali, January 27, sa pamamagitan ng publicity associate nito na si Mindy Ordoñez.

Subalit ayon sa aming nakausap ay wala pa sa kanilang opisina si Ordoñez, ngunit nangako na ipapaalam sa kanya ang aming hiling.

Ang Concertus Inc. din ang producer ng mga nagdaang musical shows tulad ng Cats at The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber.

PROTECTING LOCAL ARTISTS. Sa kabilang banda, naglabas naman si OPM executive director Elmar Beltran Ingles ng isang paliwanag tungkol sa equity na hinihingi sa mga foreign artist na magpe-perform sa bansa.

Inilathala ni Ingles ang kanyang paliwanag sa kanyang personal Facebook account noong Lunes, Enero 23, at pinamagatang "Why ticket prices are high: The Facts Behind the Equity Issue."

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Ayon kay Ingles, ang tinutukoy na equity ay naaayon sa napagkasunduan ng BI, OPM, at AMP.

Dagdag pa niya, "The Performers’ Equity Rights program has been [enforced] since 1987 upon the initiative of then Immigration Commissioner Miriam Defensor Santiago who dialogued with OPM and the Asosasyon ng Musikong Pilipino (AMP) to engage these artists’s NGOs in policing the entry of foreign performers who do professional work in the Philippines.

"This was seen as a government-private cooperation which also sought to provide assistance to local performers and producers whose livelihood and practice of profession are displaced by the influx of foreign productions."

Ang Facebook note na ito ni Ingles ay bilang tugon sa isinulat ng blogger na si Cecile Zamora-Van Straten.

Kinuwestiyon kasi ng blogger sa post niyang "Why ticket prices are sky high in the Philippines" ang mataas ng singil sa mga banyagang nagsasagawa ng show sa Pilipinas.

Ani Cecile, "Ever wonder why Filipinos pay so much money [for] 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."

Ito naman ang naging tugon ni Ingles: "The Philippines is not the only country that levies Equity dues to foreign performers. We only have to look back and recall how Ms. Lea Salonga was subjected to very strict equity rules by both West End and Broadway Equity unions. France and Australia also levy a certain "displacement fee" that supports local artists affected by visiting ones.

"OPM is NOT against foreign artists performing in the Philippines. We have long recognized that the world is increasingly becoming borderless and highly-globalized which augurs well for cultural exchanges between people of all nations. BUT WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO PROTECT OUR OWN ARTISTS AND PRODUCERS by levelling the playing field through policy reviews and actual government support."

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