Pacific

Philippine bill to require residents to sing national anthem enthusiastically

A Philippine bill that would require people in the Philippines to enthusiastically sing the national anthem, or face a steep fine, is one step closer to becoming a law. 

The bill, known as the "Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines," states that "singing [of the national anthem] shall be mandatory and must be done with fervor," according to the BBC. The existing legislation does not make this a requirement. 

Residents will also be required to sing "Lupand Hinirang," the national anthem, when its played during public gatherings, facing the Philippine flag, band or conductor during that time. 

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Anyone who breaks the rules will be fined as much as $5,590, increasing penalty amount by 14 times, according to the proposed bill. Repeat offenders will also be "named and shamed" in a national newspaper. 

"Any act which casts contempt, dishonor or ridicule upon the national anthem shall be penalized," the bill says. 

The law will also make a rendition of the national anthem the standard song to be played, The Philippines National Inquirer stated. 

The bill passed in the House of Representatives this week. It is waiting for approval in the country's Senate.