Regine Velasquez bats for regulating foreign actsBy Marinel R. Cruz
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Multiawarded singer Regine Velasquez agrees that the production of shows featuring international acts in the country should be regulated to protect the interests of local artists.
“As a performer, I feel sad for artists who miss out on opportunities to earn because of these foreign acts. Sadly, we find ourselves competing against them,” Regine told the Inquirer during a recent press conference for her new movie, “Of All the Things.”
She continued: “I know that Pinoys would rather watch these foreign artists, because they could always see locals perform some other day, anyway.”
Regine clarified that she was not seeking to stop the influx of foreign acts and that she considered watching some of them a learning experience. “Seeing them perform contributes to my growth as a singer, as an audience member and as a Filipino. I just think there should be balance. The number of foreign productions coming over should be regulated, the way it’s done in Japan, Indonesia and India.”
Her suggestion: Only three to four per month.
She appealed to local promoters to be “fair and balanced” when producing concerts. “When they finance four international acts, for instance, they should do the same for at least three local acts. When there are too many shows featuring foreigners, local productions are unable to get sponsors and generate ticket sales.”
Regine, who is the wife of Ogie Alcasid, chair of the Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mangaawit (OPM), said regulation should be legislated.
“We can’t merely rely on signed agreements. There ought to be a law,” she said, adding that, contrary to popular notion, not all foreign productions have been successful. “There’s a lot of money to be made by financing local acts, if you promote them properly.”
She also raised the issue of some foreign shows not paying sufficient equity as provided by law, and pointed to the ongoing “The Phantom of the Opera” at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. “This is crazy!” she said. “My husband is very angry but he can’t do anything.”
“Of All the Things” is Regine’s first film after giving birth to son Nathaniel James last November. She began working on the romantic comedy three years ago, with costar Aga Muhlach.
The Viva Films production directed by Joyce Bernal also features John Lapus, Mark Bautista, Jojo Alejar and Gina Pareño. It opens in theaters on September 26.
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