Fans of the Eraserheads were alarmed over the weekend when the rumor spread that the much anticipated one-night reunion gig of the legendary Filipino band will not materialize on August 30 due to Philip Morris' failure to secure a permit from the authorities.
Since news of its involvement surfaced, the tobacco company has been caught in bitter word war with the Department of Health (DOH) and other health-advocacy groups. The DOH cited Republic Act No. 9211 as basis for threatening to take legal action against Philip Morris should the company continue to sponsor the event.
"If we are able to show and prove that this concert is actually sponsored by you, by Philip Morris, then we will truly train our guns on you for clearly violating the law," Health Undersecretary Alexander Padilla warned Philip Morris in a press conference a couple of weeks back.
RA 9211, also known as the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003, strictly prohibits tobacco companies from sponsoring any sports, cultural, and artistic events of individual or team athletes, artists and performers.
"Masakit na ang ulo ng organizer," lamented a PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) source two weeks ago. Our mole, who has access inside the tobacco firm, was obviously pertaining to all the legal questions being raised against the company.
Philip Morris's flagship cigarette brand, Marlboro, was the mastermind behind the big event and fans were simply instructed to register online to gain instant access to the concert without the need to shell out cash. Legal impediments, however, prohibited the giant tobacco company from orchestrating its plan. In the end, the firm was left with no choice but to seek another party willing to save the project.
ALL SYSTEMS GO. Eraserheads drummer Raimund Marasigan assured the public that the concert will definitely push through this coming August 30 as Philip Morris successfully handed down the project to another company during the weekend. The team assigned to oversee the entire production has reportedly started working overtime in preparation for Saturday's event.
The change of sponsor consequently altered the original plan as envisioned by Philip Morris. If the concert was initially designed to be free of charge and strictly for adults only, the new setup now requires the public to purchase tickets to gain admission inside the open-air venue at The Fort, Taguig City.
According also to Marasigan, details about the concert will be announced tomorrow, August 26, through various media outlets, like radio and newspapers.
The hasty arrangement understandably worried some fans, particularly when it comes to security issues.
"This is a big event and parang nakakatakot lang dahil mukhang minadali lahat. Sana naman huwag maging magulo kasi for sure marami talagang manonood," remarked a loyal fan to PEP upon learning of the new arrangement.
Some individuals, on the other hand, favored the traditional method of ticket selling instead of online registration since Philip Morris, they alleged, provided little information to the public on how to gain admission and in the process only caused confusion among the fans.
They also cited that selling tickets is more appropriate and fair since the majority won't have to adhere to the age-restriction policy, previously intended to please the supposed adult market of cigarette manufacturers.
"Mas okay na ‘yong ganito kesa naman doon sa magre-register ka pa. Malabo naman din kasi ‘yong unang system considering ‘yong magnitude nung event. At least ngayon, malinaw na kung saan and paano makakakuha ng ticket and mas sigurado na maraming makakapanood," reasoned Mark, a fan of the Eraserheads since the band arrived commercially in 1993.
As for the ticket prices, PEP received a report earlier today that general admission tickets will be sold at P1,500.