Citizens of the Philippines could be jailed or fined if they refuse to sing their national anthem with sufficient enthusiasm under a new bill proposed by the country’s parliament.
The law, approved by the House of Representatives on Monday, states that singing when the anthem, the Lupang Hinirang, is played in public “shall be mandatory and must be done with fervor.”
If the law is accepted by the Senate, those in breach could be fined between $1,000 and $2,000 or go to prison for a year.
A repeat offender would be hit with a fine and jail time and could also be “named and shamed” in a national newspaper.
The bill states: “Any act which casts contempt, dishonor or ridicule upon the national anthem shall be penalized.”
According to The Philippine Inquirer, all citizens must stand to attention during the playing of the national anthem facing the Philippine flag (pictured), if it is displayed, or the band or conductor.
The bill also provides precise official music for the tune, which was composed by Julian Felipe and adopted as the anthem in 1938.
It must be played in the time signature of 2/4 when the music is played and 4/4 when it is sung.
The proposed “flag code” also obliges education authorities to “ensure that the national anthem… shall be committed to memory by all students” of public and private schools.
The Philippines is not alone in laying down the law when it comes its national anthem.
Last year India’s supreme court ordered every movie theater in the country to play the national anthem before film screenings to encourage citizens to “feel this is my country and this is my motherland”.