The real skin tax

A lot of foreigners will mention the “skin tax” when talking about the Philippines.  What they mean when they say “skin tax” is when Filipinos overcharge them for products or services based solely on the color of their skin. In other words, when the Filipino taxi driver or shop owner sees a white or black guy, instantly the price goes up, because it is a foreigner.

Myself, I have never really worried much about any skin tax, because such things happen to me only rarely, and usually we are talking very small amounts.  Yes, when somebody overcharges me, it does bother me, but I don’t make a big deal or get too worked up for something tiny like that.  But, like I said, I find that it is very rare anyway.  Especially since I can speak the language, these folks quickly realize that I am not a tourist, and they tend to not try to take advantage of me.

Ogie Alcasid

Ogie Alcasid

However, did you know that the Philippine Government is now considering implementing a real, official skin tax?  Not for all of us foreigners, but the government may impose a tax on entertainers who come and perform in the Philippines, if they are foreigners.  This whole idea is being pushed by a number of Filipino entertainers, being lead, seemingly, by Kuh Ledesma and Ogie Alcasid both of whom are singers here in the Philippines.  The whole idea pushed by these folks is that these foreign entertainers are eating into the revenues of Filipino performers and must be stopped.

According to reports that I have seen, the big push came because a lot of foreign acts are coming to perform in the Philippines in February 2011.  Some of the coming performers are Taylor Swift, Janet Jackson and other bands, many of whom I have not heard of.  Probably I don’t know the acts because they are from the younger generation and I don’t follow them.  Also, Justin Beiber is coming to the Philippines in a few months as well.  According to Filipino artists, February is the month that should be reserved for only Filipino acts, and they say that traditionally foreign acts do not come to the Philippines in February.  These Filipino performers go on to say that with Valentine’s Day in February, it is a time when they can make good money giving concerts or other performances and appearances, but with these foreigners coming to the country, their revenues will be down.

Many of these foreign acts sell out quickly.  Taylor Swift’s concert sold out quickly, and no seats are available.  They say that while Justin Beiber’s tickets only recently went on sale, sales for his concert are swift.  Many of these Filipino acts are having trouble selling out the seats for their concerts.  So, because of this, they reason, the foreign acts should be taxed more.  In fact, there is another part of the proposal that I did not mention yet.  Those pushing this not only want the foreigners to be taxed at higher rates than they are now, but Filipino acts should have ZERO tax on them!  They say that this will preserve the culture and artistry of the Philippines.

Taylor Swift is coming to Manila

Taylor Swift is coming to Manila

The truth is, Filipinos are voting with their wallets on this.  If many of these Filipino acts cannot attract enough audience that means that the Filipino people would prefer to spend their money for acts like Taylor Swift or Justin Beiber.  Hey, I am not really a fan of either of the two, but I will say that they are both powerhouses in the music industry right now, and a lot of Filipinos want to go listen to them sing.  To me, this would indicate that these Filipino entertainers need to update their acts, improve what they are offering to the public, and do so quickly.  That is what competition is all about.  If the public would rather pay to see Taylor Swift, then Kuh Ledesma needs to improve what she is offering and more people will go to see her instead.

The way I see it, it would seem that some people will be taxed solely based on the color of their skin, or the color of their passport.  That, in my opinion is not right.  I read that right now the Philippine Government is studying to see if they can legally do this, given their WTO obligations.  Well, we will see what happens on that, but even if it can legally be done, that does not mean that it is moral or right.  In fact, implementing a legal skin tax will only serve to reinforce those doing these things illegally like taxi drivers and store vendors.  If they government can do it, why can’t they, after all?

Another thought that comes to my mind about this has to do with citizenship.  A lot of Filipino artists are dual citizens, or are only citizens of a foreign country like the USA.  What tax rate will a dual citizen pay?  They are holders of foreign citizenship, after all.  What about this… think about what would happen if the Black Eyed Peas, an American hip-hop band, come and do a concert in the Philippines.  One of the members of the band, “apl.d.ap”, is a Filipino from Pampanga.  The other members of the band are not Filipino.  Will they pay the “foreigner rate” or the “Filipino rate?”  What about if Journey comes to have a concert here?  The lead singer is Arnel Pineda, a Filipino.  What tax rate do they pay?

To me, this whole issue is way off base.  Everybody should pay the same tax rate, regardless of race or citizenship.  What do you think?

Post Author: MindanaoBob (943 Posts)

Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur who is based in Davao. Bob is an American who has lived permanently in Mindanao since May 2000. Here in Mindanao, Bob has resided in General Santos City, and now in Davao City. Bob is the owner of this website and many others.

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  1. Bruce M says

    It sounds like some of the Filipino enterainers who can’t fill their venues are second rate singer. And they really need to up their game like some of their countryman have like Arnel Pedina and ohers. Sounds like they are trying to start a turf war by means of laws and taxes to keep the Philippines for themselves. If you can’t cook like a chief then stay a prep-cook.:)

    • says

      Hi Bruce – I believe that the concert goers will decide which concerts to go to based on how much they enjoy the music, not the citizenship of the singer. So, as you say, the entertainers in question need to go back and practice a bit more. :lol:

  2. AmericanLola says

    Something was mentioned in a previous post about ‘Crab like attitude’ in which as long as nobody gets ahead, everyone is happy… stemming from jealosy.

  3. Gordon B says

    Yup, the whole idea is a bit silly really, and I suspect it will die a natural death since it can’t really stand up to intellectual debate. That said, there are a few aspects of Philippine government policy that would have a hard time standing up to intellectual scrutiny.

    It does not really trouble me too much when I am overcharged P20 on a taxi fare, and I don’t make any issue about it. After all, a painter and decorator in the USA probably charges more when he drives up to a million dollar house to give his estimate than he does when he drives up to a tatty house where there is less evidence of wealth. When it does bother me is when I am charged more if I make a booking at the Marco Polo than my wife is when she makes the booking. Especially if the difference is $150 per night. That’s why my wife makes the bookings. But hey, that’s life, and we have the option to vote with our feet and not buy.

    • says

      Hi Gordon – I personally think that this will get the go-ahead, unless it is determined to be against WTO agreements which have been put in place. We shall see!

      • Paul Thompson says

        Here is a classic example of the backfire syndrome. In the mid 90′s the Philippines started charging $100.00 to purchase an long term 1 year visa, the following year the US and other countries enacted the same on the Philippines, the RP complained it was unfair. The US agreed and told the RP, drop yours we’ll drop ours. Greed one out, and it remained, who lost? The Pinoy. The RP government liked the extra money.

  4. says

    I’ve often been known to say I like living here in the Philippines becuase so many things are similar to my childhood, fifty plus years ago in the US.

    One thing, sadly, that follows US practices from 50 years ago also is racial discrimination. Sad to say it but the Philippines in 50 years behind on equality and human rights. It’s pretty sad becuase most of the people practicing racial discrimination just don’t even have a clue how utterly wrong they are.

    I have two little nephews who are very dear to me. They are bright, happy boys of 5 and 6, going to school, doing well, on their way to becoming good citizens of the Philippines. But they have a big strike against them. Their father is Sudanese. His skin is very black, that ultra-black ebony sort of color you seldom see except in Africa.

    I hear people in my trips to local stores and such make comments about their father being Negro. The older one came home from school crying not long ago becuase the other boys were calling him “Negro” and excluding him from some game. Here ‘Negro’ is a word of hate or disgust, just like the other more disgusting ‘N’-word, although many Filipinos will not admit to it.

    When President Obama was elected many Filipinos claimed they were overjoyed that a person of color was in the White House … but during the last Philippine election there were many derogatory and discriminatory jokes circulated about the vice-presidential candidate, who has very dark skin. Very 1950′ish. The 1950′s of ‘separate but equal’ and “Darky Jokes”.

    So the proposed tax Bob mentioned isn’t exactly racial? Or is it. But it’s for sure ‘anti-foreigner’, and for all the wrong reasons. It saddens me.

    I’m really surprised no one has written before about the Philippine national sport of pro basketball. If a Filipino were to go to the US and want to play basketball, even at the pro level, all he would have to do is compete well enough to win a spot on a team. I mean who even knows the nationality of most pro players in US sport. I’m always amazed every baseball All Star game when they introduce players and the counties they hail from and are still citizens of in many cases. Who could imagine a rule in the US which said players couldn’t play unless they were US-born? It goes against the grain of everything we Americans say we are for.

    But if an American basketball player comes to the Philippines and wants to play ball, he has to prove “Filipino blood” before he can even try out. Sad. really, really sad.

    Recently I heard a guy on TV advocating a special tax or regulation limiting US-brand Pizza Chains. He bemoaned the fact that Filipinos seemed to prefer US brands to Filipino brands. Regardless of the brand, the companies already have to be Filipino by law, anyway, but apparently some people want Filipino’s taste buds regulated by law, too.

    Strange. In our local mall there are three big pizza outlets, Greenwich (Filipino-style), Pizza Hut and Shakey’s (both pretty much US-style) When the mall is busy, all three places have plenty of pizza lovers crowded inside, happily munching. The customer base is at least 95% Filipino. I expect each group of folks is eating were they are eating becuase they like the place and the taste … else they would vote with their feet and move to a different pizza place/taste.

    I believe being able to sell any sort of pizza and being able to choose which one to eat has something to do with democracy. I believe letting anyone compete in a chosen sport has something to do with democracy too. And I certainly believe that anyone who wants to invest in hiring a venue and promoting a musical event, based on the profits they will (or won’t) get from ticket sales has the right to do that also, on a level playing field.

    That’s democracy also, folks. Surely intelligent Filipinos realize that. I hope so anyway. Time to move racial/national discrimination attitudes in the Philippines into the present century, my Filipino friends, or so Dave opines.

    • says

      Hi Dave – You make a lot of good points there, points which should be considered. I know that you care deeply for your little nephews, and I can attest that they are cute and good kids, as I have met them too. Anyway, Dave, I was thinking about you when I wrote this, because it all goes back to the General a few years ago (I’ve forgotten his name) who proclaimed that “all foreigners look the same to me anyway” or something like that. You and I have discussed that several times, and I think it ties right in with this skin tax.

    • sugar says

      Hi Dave, I realize and I know what you’re saying. I know many do too. Looks like racial discrimination is anywhere even in a country such as the Phils. I mean just the ” Hey, Joe” uttered by many Pinoys, sounds derogatory and discriminating too.

      I’m sorry about what you’re nephews have experienced. There are Filipinos who just doesn’t know better and will utter something disgusting and out right stupid. You’re correct, the skin tax seems to be anti foreigner.

      • John says

        Sugar, some of it is racism totally, some of it is lack of education. I tend to bark when I hear Hey Joe, I don’t even like being called Sir, that is for Knighted men only where I am from. But what gets me is when I am asked if I am Catholic and I respond no I am Anglican and I get “Are you Christian?” When someone says the RP is the only Christain country in Asia I ask them about East Timor….

    • Paul Thompson says

      Most protectionism will backfire on the people trying to enact it.
      When I was living in Puerto Rico, the Island passed a law that all beer had to be in 10 oz can, knowing this would protect the 3 local beer brewers there. It didn’t. as the outside beer makers, quickly found out that they could pack more 10 oz cans in a container van, and save on shipping. It was later decided by the 3 local brewers, that to compete they had to improve the quality of their product, and their sales did increase.
      Next the Pinoy entertainers will want to tax radio stations for playing to much imported music.

    • Dr. Jeffrey A. Lynch says

      That’s nice, just like back in the 50′s. Well sounds great to me, would like to be livung there now. Let the Philippinos have their way, maybe then they will not end up with the mess like we have today.

  5. says

    If we made comments or suggestions like that in our own respective countries we would be branded racist and probably charged with and convicted of racial predjudice, … fact … If they were good enough their own tickets would sell first … back to the practice studio boys.

      • Holger says

        Hi, guys.
        What would you think about me, if I made suggestions like this? I am from Germany. ;-) And NO! Adolf was from Austria….. BTW. This article reminds me a lot of law’s in Germany around Hitlers time…. Extra tax for…other people. The only thing is, I was not born at this time. But still I get asked for how it was. And I have no glue how it was, because all I know is from school.

      • Katrina says

        LOL, sometimes, it pays off being non-white? I mean, it’s easier to brand white people as racists but when non-whites do the same, it is often not thought as so. Some would even reason out “It’s their culture!”. Hehe

        Before anyone violently reacts, I am non-white :D

        • Mars Z. says

          Hi Katrina, many non-whites fresh off the boat from oppressed countries, most of them I tried to hired when they came to the US under the UN sponsored program are quick to employ this reasoning, not all but many. Some claimed they are royalties in their country, that the organizer had them attend a class and the first line is: Forget who you are in your own country, if you want the job, do what you are told to do and as your job description say! Some Asians do the same. I t takes a while for them to realize in the US, dollars does not grow on trees.

  6. Randy W. says


    If they implement the tax i believe it will backfire on them. You will see alot of top artists bypassing the Philippines and taking revenue out of the pockets of the venues who would host them. It would give them a black eye by foreigners should be treated differently. Also what if those singers wanted to play in the US or other foreign countries. How would they be treated there? Maybe some of those singers could be the opening act for the main foreign entertainers so they could get some extra revenue. Anyway you put it its totally unfair and would give the Philippines some more bad publicity like they really need anymore. Good Article Bob. Take care and have a nice W/E.

    • says

      Hi Randy – I think that even considering the tax will give a black eye to the country in the entertainment field. Like you say, nobody should be treated differently, everybody is equal, or should be.

  7. dans says


    Philippine as a Third World Country, foreigners should NOT expect Philippines to have the same equality as with the west.

    Majority of our people are uneducated, greedy, with crab mentality, our products are of low quality or no quality at all, most of our women are for sale, they will cheat on you, steal your money or suck you dry.

    Our government officials are all imbecile, from the president down to a baranggay tanod, no filipinos in the government are honest, they are all thieves .

    Filipinos are thief, we will steal from you whenever we get a chance, we will make you pay more because of the color of your skin.

    Philippine is a pathetic country, and foreigner SHOULD avoid living or even visiting it.

    Oh by the way…

    despite of the things I said… why the heck there are still many foreigners wanted to live in the philippines? have you all gone mad?? or simply stupid? why live in a country like the philippines and never stop complaining about it?

    • says

      I try not to complain about the Philippines, dans. I comment on what I see going on there. If it is something bad, I comment on that. If it is something good, I comment on that. I often have been accused by many people of being overly pro-Philippines. I stand behind what I say, and I love the Philippines. Sometimes the country makes moves that are self-damaging, though, and I cannot control that.

    • Gordon B says

      It’s because of all the good amongst the bad Dans. Everything you say is true about some people, but not of all. The people I know in the Philippines are mainly good, honest people, but some of them are scurrilous, senseless fools. That is just the same as the people I have met throughout the world. My mother in law sums up her own people in the following words: “we have no self control”, and she is correct. Cutting down trees on hillsides causes landslides, so don’t do it; that would seem to be obvious, but when you have family who are poor and very hungry, your priorities become warped.

      All the bad things you mention are caused by poverty. The worst of this is, that it is those who are not poor who’s interests it serves best to maintain the status quo, and I don’t mean wealthy foreigners by this, I mean wealthy Filipinos who practice restrictive trade practices that would be disallowed in most more developed countries. A recent article here cited imports of juices from Thailand when it would be perfectly possible, and cheaper, to manufacture those juices in the Philippines, creating employment and producing a cheaper product for the buyer. But who imports the stuff and fights to keep the local produce off the shelves? My guess would be a wealthy Filipino family, with fingers in many pies, and who’s interests lie in ensuring that the big supermarkets shelves are lined with the products that create and maintain their own wealth.

      But you are right, there is something SPECIAL about the Philippines, and I do know what it is: it’s the potential and actual beauty of the place, and the hearts of the people. These other problems WILL diminish and be resolved, just as they were elsewhere, but it will take at least a generation, I suspect, before much change will be seen. One of the best things I can imagine happening is for someone (you?) to start spreading a “buy Filipino” message, that would spread and halt the sales of less necessary imports. The wealthy family will then be forced to start production in the Philippines as their import sales dwindle, people will have jobs and their kids will go to school. Etc.

      You know, I am reluctant to voice these thoughts, but I will:

      You are clearly frustrated with we foreigners who have a connection to the Philippines commenting on the negatives, though you can see that the problems are there and not imaginary. We are not being negative ABOUT the Philippines or Filipinos, but about the problems. We are, for the massively largest part, with you, supporting you and your hopes and goals for your country. The problem is that we, as foreigners can’t help. For the large part, we are not allowed to invest. We are not generally allowed even to have an opinion or to offer advice (your own post testifies to that), because it annoys Filipinos who interpret it as criticism. The impetus for change in the way things are has therefore to come from the Filipino people.

      I fell in love with the Philippines and the Filipino people ten years ago, and much as I want to, I know I CAN’T help much under these curcumstances, and it frustrates me, just as I am sure it does others. But I adopt a policy of not worrying about things I can’t change, and pouring all my energies into those that I can. You, as a Filipino (I assume?) have a million times the power I have to initiate change, and I promise every ounce or gram of help I can give if it is asked. Every journey, as the cliche says, begins with a single step.

      Sorry for the sermon, it’s been building in me for a while.

      • dans says

        Buy Filipino Products? – that won’t happen because Americans taught us to buy American Goods only! you taught us that anything made locally are not good and we must only consume american products only.

        We cannot make our own juices because DOLE produces more juices and sell it overseas and a lot cheaper too! it is too cheap that our local produce cannot compete with DOLE or with any big american company here!

        Oh, we want you to own land and businesses in the philippines BUT wait!, philippines is a very small country and with its 90 plus million populations 90% of them do not own a house, if philippines were to allow you own a property here, the price of property will sky rocketed and the price will be all based on what a typical american can afford and not what a filipino can afford. THIS IS ALREADY HAPPENING -

        cause and effect?

        • says

          What American products? Very little is made in the USA any more.

          Dans, you must be a lot older than I thought, if Americans taught you to buy American products. Were you alive during the colonial time?

          • dans says


            hahahaha, am i getting into your nerves? I am just making silly comments, don’t take it seriously bob,

            my comments are what most Filipino would say and think.

          • Katrina says

            Everything in the USA is made in China. LOL. Although I got some clothing that was made in the Philippines, Vietnam, Honduras, Cambodia, Nicaragua….Off topic but I do not trust made in China products. Not that I dislike the Chinese people, but their products tend to be “one wear only”. You wash them once, they’re good to go. T_T It’s the same with the made in China products in found in the Philippines

            IDK about the lack of patronization of Filipino products…I think for most part, Filipino consumers would look if the product they buy is worth their money… not the country where it came from. Some Filipino manufacturers don’t prioritize quality (just as the state of OPM where even “renowned” Filipino singers would prefer making money out of foreign revivals than writing their own songs!). And if Filipinos are against Filipino product, why on earth does San Miguel hold 95% of beer market in the Philippines, not Budwisser or Corona or Coors or Lone Star? I heard it is also the best selling beer in Hong Kong

              • Katrina says

                IDK, probably it could be a regional thing? From where I came from (Baguio), people aren’t ashamed that they bought their “funky” stuff from the thrift shop or at a surplus store…even people who come from quite well to do families.

                But then, it could be the whole class system working in the Philippines…where imported products which are generally viewed more expensive due to tariff imposed by the Philippine gov’t on certain products (they probably would be shocked how inexpensive Revlon products are in the US…hehe) as something “sophisticated”.

        • jonathan says

          Lol Dans, take it easy. Previous administrations have been promoting Philippine products and the “Buy Filipino” scheme is nothing new. You know what the problem is? It’s our colonial mentality. The Americans or the West did not taught us to buy their products, in fact, without their products or services there won’t be any transfer of technology to our shores or to any country. Just to cite an example, look at Japan, where do you think they got the idea of making those small cars called Toyota? How about Taiwan, South Korea and now China? They were all innovating. We have the jeepney since WW2 but hey can you see any exports outside the Philippines? We are too localized and dont’t want to innovate, it’s in our culture, it’s in the government and we need to change that.

        • Gordon B says

          And if you were taught to buy American products only, why are such extensive quantities of chinese products being bought in the Philippines. In my juice example, the Filipinos are not buying Dole Juices from America or any other western country, they are buying from your near and fair competitor Thailand. Maybe, it is just too hard for big companies to do business in the Philippines?

          Dans, I love the vast majority of your people with all my heart, but your sarcastic response is helpful to whom exactly? And if your comments were designed to be “what most Filipino would say and think”, then again, you have a million times more power than me to change that. You should begin today!

  8. brian says

    What next…”skin tax” levied to the foreign artists who have their songs played on the radio, TV shows from abroad taxed for air time? Sounds like pandoras box to me.

  9. Allan Kelly says

    Hi Bob

    I don’t really see this one as a skin tax. Many countries put rules in place to help protect their cultural enteranment. Canada has rules for radio stations on the minimum amount of Canadian content. Why? Because they did not want Canada’s entertinment industry to sink under the weight of the USA industry. Two things for people to think about. People may rush to see Taylor Swift in Manila because, Hey! How many times will you get to see her! Second, Taylor is there not because she will make so much money on the concert. She would make lots more in North America and Europe. Concerts promote CD & DVD sales. She will still do the concert even if she gets charged money tax.

    • John says

      Also applies to televsion and commercials from the US being aired, it works to ensure culture and identity. Also Canadian artists pay little or no income tax. If you are an aboriginal living on a reserve doing sculpting, the government actually gives the artist a subsidy to continue the craft/art.

    • says

      Hello Allan – Sorry, but we see this issue differently. The tax rate is being charged based on the color of the passport and nothing else. That is discrimination.

  10. sugar says

    Hi Bob – I’m really duh when it comes to taxes. You mean, foreign performers will need to pay taxes if they’re going to perform here? Then nobody will want to come here. Other Asian counties have them. And then people would wonder how come nobody’s coming to perform? Thinking, do the Phils suck? requiring foreign performers to pay taxes, does no good. Singer John Mayer performed last year. Front row tickets sold like 8K. But and still people watched. Filipinos love watch foreign acts. To sum it up, I agree! Everybody should pay the same tax rate.

    Out of curiosity, do Filipino entertainers pay taxes (like skin tax, I suppose) if they perform in another country, US, Canada, EU?

  11. says

    Kuh Ledesma and Ogie Alcasid are both pretty naive, in addition to probably not being world class musicians.

    Both Taylor Swift and Justin Beiber’s concerts will dump a ton of money in the Philippines. It’s like when the super bowl is playing in your city — the city makes lots of money. Additionally, ticket prices are adjusted for the country. I don’t know (or care) what ticket prices are for theses two super stars here in American but I feel confident ticket priceds are considerably less there in the Philippines. The net result of adding more cost (tax) to their visits would not hurt the performers — it would hurt the Filipino people by way of higher ticket prices. You don’t really think the American star is going all the way to the Philippines to perform at a loss do you? Add more tax (expense) on them and the ticket prices simply go up.

    The root cause here is probably “Jealousy” festered with a hefty dose of ineptitude and feeling inadequate on the part of Kuh-fu and Ogie. A little like two boxers going in the ring and one is better than the other so lets tie one of his hands behind his back and make it an even match. Makes no sense at all.

    • John says

      You are right the ticket prices will simply go up for artists from abroad. I do agree with local artists being given a break for their craft. I am not sure where to draw the line between artist and entertainer.

      The RP has tax agreements/treaties with 89 countries, if that citizen is subjected to paying more tax the accountants will love the extra work, but as Bob points out the RP will have to work within the guidlines of the WTO and each country.

      What if Canada or the US imposed a skin tax on OFW’s because they are taking jobs from locals? imagine the uproar then.

      • dans says

        “What if Canada or the US imposed a skin tax on OFW’s because they are taking jobs from locals? imagine the uproar then.”

        taking jobs from the local? write a letter to your senator, congressman, president or whoever is in charge of issuing a “workers visa” to filipino nationals, tell them not to issue any more “worker’s visa” to filipino nationals that would easily solve the “taking away the jobs from the local” problem.

          • dans says

            if many people from US/Canada felt that filipinos are “taking away” jobs from the locals, then tax them twice or even 10 times!

              • dans says

                in the philippines, it is perfectly legal to tax the foreigners twice, in the philippines it is ILLEGAL to receive equal treatment.

                we are a 3rd world country, what do you expect from us?

  12. Rob says

    Maybe the USA should charge Manny Pacquiao some extra tax every time he fights here. The government could use the money!

  13. Bob New York says

    There are many ways something like this could backfire. I don’t know the proportion but how many ( I’ll say for the sake of discussion ) American acts perform Filipino songs ? How many Filipino acts perform songs that were written and composed in the USA and are owned by USA copyright owners ? How many Filipino performers pay for a license to perform music owned by a foriegn copyright owner ? Naturally, you can not totally control this in it’s entirety as it would be difficult to enforce every ” Bar Band ” but there is a form of enforcemnt on the big time performers and also the use of music in movies, commercials and large scale public performances by top name artists.

    Copyright agencies like BMI, ASCAP, RIAA in the USA, SESAC ( in Eurpor I believe ) and I think it is PRS in the UK actively monitor public performance, recordings and use of material of the copyright holders they protect.

    Suppose they raised their licensing fees to Filipino performers in retaliation of their member artists being taxed at a higher rate in The Philippines ?

    Sure, there is a lot of ” bootlegging ” that exists all over the world but it is difficult to hide public performances by big name artists. If they perform all of their own material that is one thing but if they perform someone elses material, the licensing fee for the use and performance of someone elses material could all of a sudden be ” increased ” !

    Who is the real looser ? Well, if a foriegn performer is going to be taxed more that could easily be reflected in the ticket prices. I am sure many Filipinos save up for a long time or work extra jobs ( if they can find them ) to have money to go to some of these events. If the ticket prices have to be increased because of a ” foriegn entertainment tax ” , many of the acts Filipino fans want to see perform may just not be able to afford the increase in the ticket cost.

    To me, this whole thing sounds like a loose – loose situation.

    • says

      I totally agree, Bob, this will backfire if imposed, and lead to unintended consequences. I doubt that most Filipino entertainers pay any royalty fees on the music they sing, but that is one way that the issue could be approached, for sure.

      • Tom Ramberg says

        Aaaah but politicians never see the unintended consequences of their legislation. Take for instance the biofuel programs; 126 units of energy expended to produce 100 units of energy, huge water use, fertilizer went from 300 to 1100 dollars per ton, meat prices went through the roof, corn went from 3 dollars to 8 dollars per bushel. Many food processing plants closed so jobs were lost. One unamed politician admited that he was running for president so he catered to the Iowa corn farmers even though he knew it was an unsound program. Okay it was Al Gore you drug it out of me! The point is many legislators have tunnel vision and really don’t care about the negative results. They only want their atta-boys and their 15 minutes of fame whether it be foriegner bashing or saving the enviorment. I have talked to many Filipinos who think the polar ice will melt and flood the islands. I ask them if they have a baso with ice and water and the ice melts does it overflow? They usually say no so I respond that 90percent of the polar ice is submerged and full of air pockets so no problem other than someone getting rich off a political agenda. I tell them that American politicians are also corrupt but a little more sophisticated because we are less tolerant.

  14. roy says

    Hello Bob,
    Concerts should be treated as a commodity like everything else. If they are imports, they should cost more and rightly so. A Phil corn cannot compete w/ a corn raised in the midwest. Both just cannot charge the same amount. Because if it’s not, you kill the local farmer while you enrich the farmer from the midwest. It’s a very crude analogy but that’s the best way for me to illustrate my point.

  15. Wade says

    Hi Bob,
    This reminds me of when the Beatles visited the Philippines and were treated with total disdain after supposedly ignoring a request to visit Malacañan! This is just another example of the nations inferiority complex, sad to say. And concerts (entertainment) are hardly another commodity that’s comparable to corn, rice, etc.

  16. jim says

    Hey…….This is not a big deal,after all we are onley guests in the PH. I could care less over a few singers etc. Is aney one realy suprised about this issue? Most of the money spent is Remittance , from other lands. The skin tax can be delt with, after all’ we will never change, thinges here, and honestley why would we, this is their country. Just enjoy!

    • says

      Sorry jim, I think it is indicative of a lot of other issues here, and is a big deal. Sure, it’s not something I’m going to get worked up about and let it ruin my life, but it is something to talk about here on LiP.

  17. Ricardo Sumilang says

    I fail to see the big hulabaloo about this. Folks, it’s not racial discrimination in any way, shape or form. It is simply economics on the part of local performers. I agree that if the government should impose a higher tax on foreign performers, the cost will surely be passed on to the paying public, many of whom will pay regardless of the cost because of their fanatical obsession about all things foreign.

    • Mars Z. says

      Ho Ricardo, it’s not really fanatical obsession about all things foreign, but just good music, good show and high quality performance. How often have you see an ad here in Virginia about performance of Filipino singer/artist in Metro DC and or in other venue and what they got is just a glorified Karaoke quality performance? The same Filipinos who has been supporting them are disgusted of the quality of what they are getting for their money. That includes sound and lighting, and as long as their performance is mediocre, they only attract few audience mostly Filipino sprinkle with their American husbands. Fil-am kids does not really want to go to their show. Most of the bands performance does not even match ordinary band performing in local clubs.

      This also goes with the TV show carried by TFC here. Same comical show, un-synchronized dancing, gay acting and if drama is involved, there is crying every five minutes. I am trying so hard to encourage my kids to watch but they just cover their face and smile, they think its silly but they are ashamed or embarrassed to tell me.

      I read the news about the Kuh Ledesma’s suggestion and basically based on the comments from Filipinos, They basically tell Ledesma to move on or perform better and/or quit telling them what they want watch. So I don’t think the PHL government will change current law.

      • Ricardo Sumilang says

        Marz, to a great degree, yes, I agree that all the bells and whistles and visuals combined with quality performance are the main draw of an entertainment wherever you go, or whether the artist is local or foreign. But I wouldn’t entirely dismiss the intense attraction or hold, if you will, of Western performers like Taylor Swift and Justin Beiber, or, for that matter, certain Korean and Japanese rock bands like Big Bang and Gazette, respectively, have on certain Filipinos who are totally enthralled with all things foreign. Anything that is foreign-made is automatically better than the local product, as the Filipino thinking goes.

        I can’t really say anything about the quality of Filipino entertainment shows on TV as I don’t have a cable subscription to it, nor do I care to have one. Knowing Filipinos as I do, I suspect, that the shows are probably shallow and ridiculous, to put it mildly. Would you blame Filipinos for fawning over and aping foreigners? And, unashamedly, at that?

        • Ricardo Sumilang says

          Further thoughts regarding what you said about the unsatisfactory quality of the performance of Filipino artists when they tour the U.S. I think there’s a world of difference between performing in the Philippines and when they tour. Singing the same songs on the road (at the DAR Hall on Constitution Ave., for example) doesn’t sound quite right simply because they probably do not have all the audio and aural gizmos and electronics they use back home. Basic equipment is there, but probably not the same sophisticated ones that can truly churn your balls and send a tingle up your spine if you’re one of the audience.

          • Mars Z. says

            Ricardo, the links below is the story. Follow-up story on this is the idea of tax incentives for local performers. If you read the comment on the story, almost all are against this idea.

            Oh, i don’t have TFC either. Only watch it when I eat at the Filipino Resto. Last time I went to a concert was a year and half ago –The Who at the Verizon Center, paid same price as those Filipino performers-no comparison for the money. So my advice to them is step up their game and quit using the term “world class” on anything that isn’t.


            • Ricardo Sumilang says

              Thanks for the link, Mars. To be honest, I hardly ever read Filipino news anymore or watch Filipino shows on TV. On the rare occasion that I happen to be someplace where Filipino TV is on, guess what, I watch it only out of curiousity, but never really caring to understand the content.

              • Mars Z. says

                Ricardo, to my daily fix of Phil news I usually glance the headlines from this links which list mostly Phl ans some US Phl online news. seem to post minute to minute update of news. New edition every 6:00 PM us as it’s 6:00 am in Manila:

       –list most of Manila mainstream newspaper

                For Visayan area: Aklan

                For Panay:

                Bob’s sites covers most news from Mindanao

      • Katrina says

        It doesn’t help and is also ironic that these complainers, when performing abroad, sing their renditions of non-Filipino songs than Filipino songs… It doesn’t help that they are on the bandwagon of ‘let’s-revive-all-foreign-songs’ trend rather than creating/reinforcing their OWN musical identity *cough*Kuh*cough*

        It’s all about the money. These people are not concerned with Filipino music at all.

        • Mars Z. says

          Me either, Randy. I’m very careful who watch in live concert. The old rockers (The pink Floyd members Waters & Gilmour, Eagles, Clapton, etc) still can do it, but the tickets are way too outrageous, but enjoyable no less.

          • Randy W. says

            Mars Z

            I’m with you too! The classic rockers are my favorite, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Ozzy Osborne, Bob Seger, Boston, Foreigner plus all the ones you mentioned plus more. 60′s, 70′s were the best. Take care brother!

      • Ricardo Sumilang says

        I’m not privy to all the details of the whole story until I read your article. My conclusion that it was more about economics than racial discrimination is based on the following quote from your article, Bob:

        “The whole idea pushed by these folks is that these foreign entertainers are eating into the revenues of Filipino performers and must be stopped.”

        • says

          Yes, it is economics. Economics based on race! The only determining factor to decide who will pay more taxes is the race/nationality of the person. That, my friend, is racism.

          • Ricardo Sumilang says

            Bob, the only determining factor to decide who will pay more taxes is the nationality of the person, but not necessarily because of his/her race. There is a difference. But just because the performers are whites, you’re calling it racism? If a Korean group performs in the Philippines and is taxed more, would you say that the determining factor is based on race or nationality?

              • Ricardo Sumilang says

                Not in the eyes of the Filipino performers who stand to lose a lot of money, Bob. Look, I’m not a great fan of Filipino acts, I’ve heard of the names at one time or another, but I really don’t know who the heck they are. But, to be fair, I think they are justified in pushing for this added tax hoping against hope that foreign performers would be dissuaded from visiting the Philippines, because as you said, foreign performers are eating into their revenue. It’s just a natural human reaction to a perceived threat to their livelihood.

                Now, as far as the government acquiescing to their wishes, that’s another story

  18. Dan says

    Well, to me the bottom line on all of this is just another way of the goverment there to make it just a little more difficult for the average Fillipino..Just another example of how the have’s want to try and extract more from the have nots. With this kind of thinking and how they do things no wonder Bob that nothing will change from the ideas behind your last post. The one about wheres the juice…..The skin tax idea is just more of the same that over all prevents any real juice happening there in that country…( juice meaning any real progress in they ways that would be a benfit to the over all population of the Phillipines )

  19. peterjoy says


    lol what will thay think off next mate a tax ever time u go to the loo just one more rip off for us that wont to go there and live mate and yes thay will always get away with it as there is not one that will stand up and say there bit mate ……peter martin tassie……

  20. John says

    Celine, Michael Buble, Justin Beiber are all Canadian, I think if Charice comes to Canada we should charge her a skin tax because she is hurting our Canadian culture/singers.

  21. hudson says

    Hi Bob,
    I’m not so sure if it’s racial as much as envy/greed. As an example, my workmate, who is Filipino, was telling me that whenever he visits the PI (his words not mine) he is sure to bring a ragged set of clothes in his carry-on. As soon as he gets off the airplane, he heads for the CR to change clothes. This is because he has in the past been charged extra because of his wealth. I know for myself that I have been charged extra for things because it is obvious I’m white. I would say the answer is that the government sees a source of money, and will exploit it.
    Also, we have the Filipino channel here in SoCal, and I sit with my wife sometimes as she watches her programs. One thing has become appearent to me is that they tend to show alot of wealth, and how the “rich” Filipino’s live. (better than me to be sure) They sure depict alot of wealthy people living there while most people are wondering where their next meal is comming from. My point is the Filipino media is almost encourging class envy.

    • says

      Hi hudson – To me, when you walk up to a vendor and they have no idea what your nationality it, but they see that you are white and charge more because of that.. that is racism.

      • Gary says

        I don’t necessarily agree with that. Yes if a taxi driver, or department store, or airlines or any business where prices are generally set did that – absolutely. But many businesses do not have set prices per se. A vendor will always want to sell at the highest price they can. I guess there is a bit of racism in the assumption that a white person is willing and able to pay more and haggle less effectively, but I don’t think the motivation is based on a racist attitude.

        It’s analogous to a car dealer in the US, they’re going to size you up from the moment you walk on the lot and get the best deal for themselves that they can.

          • Gary says

            I guess we disagree. Sure that might be the case with some, but I don’t think the majority think I should pay more because I’m white. I think they’re basing the decision on the assumption that my skin color indicates I’m naive to the local pricing and/or I have the money and would rather pay than haggle. . Speaking the language, even just a little, changes attitudes. I’ve seen it with trike drivers for example.

            Just look at the comment below by Ricardo – he writes about being overcharged but not because of his skin color. It was because he was naive to the local pricing and practices. If this was simply a matter of racism he would have been charged the same as locals (I’m assuming Ricardo is of Filipino decent).

            I guess we have to agree to disagree on this one ;)

            • says

              But, my argument is that it is your race that begins the whole thinking of overcharging you. Anyway, let’s just agree to disagree, because you ain’t gonna change my feelings, and I don’t think I’ll change yours. :lol:

    • Ricardo Sumilang says

      Aha, so I was an unknowing victim of the “skin tax”, too? LOL Truth is, no one would ever mistake me for an Anglo. Hahaha Seriously, years ago, I took a cab from NAIA straight to the province at past midnight because of an emergency, a distance of some 120 miles, and the cab driver charged me $100 plus I tipped him $20, in addition to a chicken and rice meal at KFC in San Fernando, Pampanga. The fare was prearranged before I left NAIA, but I agreed to it because I didn’t know what the standard fare was. My relatives in the province later told me I paid too much. How about reverse racism? Hahahaha

      • John says

        No that rate sounds about right, it was just your relatives are thinking too much. I can tell the fish monger at SM to scale the fish and remove the head of the fish and the family say I have been ripped off because I am a foreigner. You forgot to ask the biggest question in the RP——-discount po

  22. Gary says

    It’s protectionism pure and simple. I don’t see it as racism. Virtually every industry in every country lobbies their representatives for an advantage – whether they are successful or not is another story.

    I don’t agree with protectionism. I think it hurts everyone except those few who actually benefit. I think the net effect would be less revenue for the promoters and lower tax collection because some artists would just not perform here. The big name artists who are really hot will still come and sell out. This will affect the middle-tier and has beens who are still popular but an additional tax might make the difference between selling out and making it not worth the effort.

    • says

      It is protectionism, without a doubt. Let me add something that I’ve been holding back on… I have seen speculation in Philippine media that such a tax would not be applied to performers of Filipino blood who are now citizens of other countries. Now, it is not a matter of taxing on the basis of nationalism.. it is purely racism if that happens.

      • Mars Z. says

        Hi Bob, I agree with Gary that its more protectionism but as you said if they have exception then PHL will have too much to lose because this will migrate to cover movies, other entertainment and other countries can apply the same tax rule to Filipino performers abroad. What about tax for Filipino movie makers filming in other countries, tax for all entertainment equipment bought by Filipinos, etc.

      • Gary says

        So I guess one member of the Black Eyed Peas would be exempt? Or only half exempt? Maybe DNA tests are in order. There’d have to a definition of what DNA strands constitute Filipino then – perhaps some Indonesian and Malaysians entertainers would be exempt by the blood test. *All in jest* :D

        • Mars Z. says

          Hi Gary, if its based on DNA, then a whole host of people related to the Malayo-Polynesian group which covers Taiwan down to Australia and Spain will be exempted! Ha ha ha.

  23. rc says

    “To me, this whole issue is way off base. Everybody should pay the same tax rate, regardless of race or citizenship. What do you think?”

    I think it’s classic racism and xenophobia combined with trade barriers…a real winner in human history. Good luck with that Philippines!

  24. David L Smith says

    G’day peterjoy
    As your an aussie same as me i was surprised to see u knocking the taxes being imposed in the philippines. We are probably the most overtaxed country in the world Peter and its getting that bad that so many of our pensioners in Australia now are having to sell their family home to survive. Now i see our esteemed prime minister wants to impose a levy on us for the victims of the floods in queensland, we South australians have been paying a murray river levy for years because of the drought and now she want us to pay a levy because we have to much water now , what a joke…just another way for the goverment to impose a tax. I guess its the same in every country though, when goverments run out of ideas to generate money they fall back on inventing a new tax.

  25. jonathan says

    This is actually old news. OPM has been doing this and crying like a baby everytime we are “invaded” by foreign artists. I’m sorry to say, but this is one example of “crab mentality” as I have previously mentioned, it’s very evident in politics and showbiz. The OPM (Organisasyon ng mga Pilipinong Mang-Aawit) whose current President is Ogie Alcasid, is only echoing the sentiments of their old-singer members like Kuh Ledesma, et. al. because it seems all venues are already booked (Regine Velasquez’ supposedly concert on March was moved to October due to this according to one report I read) Of course, people will swoop to watch these foreign acts especially if they’re hugely popular, who wouldn’t? You won’t see them personally everyday and it would be very costly if you’d chase them around the globe just to watch their concerts. Who would like to watch singers (such as Ogie) when you can almost see them everyday on free TV? Who would watch a bunch of singers bungling their production numbers on Sunday shows such as ASAP and SOP? Please people, upgrade your acts, besides these singers earn more than your regular Filipinos employee. OPM GIVE US A BREAK!

  26. Roberto says

    Hi Bob: When you boil it all down, its all about those greenback dollars! If politicians and governments smell the blood , lookout, if they could figure out a way to put meters on all our noses they (governments) would tax us to breathe air.

  27. David L Smith says

    G’day Bob
    I must admit i cant see the racism issue here. I am not offended if a vendor trys to take advantage and bumps the price up because he assumes i can afford it because of my white skin. I see it as his perogative to attempt this, if i dont want the product because i think he/she is charging too much then they have done themselves out of a sale.Looking at the big picture its the rich who mainly screw the poor so what if some of the poor try to get a few more peso. If that vendor refused to serve me on account of my white skin, then i would class that as racism, and i have seen much of that in my own country , when white people would not serve aboriginals or allow them into hotels.

  28. Dr. Sponk Long says

    Hi Bob,

    I too don’t equate this to racism. I don’t even think it’s a competition of who are the best artists.

    There is no way coconut water can compete with Coca Cola. It’s all about marketing.

    Also American artists especially singers have lost control on the value of their material with the advent of napster, itunes, youtube, pandora, etc. They are at the mercy of EMI, Sony and other major recording behemoths. Concerts are the last holdup that they still have some sense of control. They are encroaching to other artists’ traditional turf.

    Filipino artists just don’t have the bantam weight might of the American Entertainment Industry Marketing prowess.

    Kuh Ledesma is on to something and I bet she has started a phenomenon in the third world like “people power”. This tax will push through.

    (talking about people power- here’s an oped from NYT: “…In the past, Washington has often pulled its punches on human rights and democracy to protect unholy security alliances with dictators, like Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines. There came a time when it was obvious that the Marcos tie was damaging American security interests and President Ronald Reagan — along with a people power revolution — played a role in easing him peacefully out of power.

    Whether that point comes with Mr. Mubarak is now up to him. So far, he has shown arrogance and tone-deafness. He has met the spiraling protests with spiraling levels of force and repression. On Friday, in a sign more of weakness than strength, the government shut down Internet access and cellphone service. The protestors were undeterred…” more power to the Egyptians, Isha Allah).

  29. John says

    For those that don’t think there is a hint of racism in the RP take a look the the flag carrier. Go to their package section and compare different countries. here is a sample from LAX-CEB, Hong Kong etc
    Diplomat Hotel Cebu
    US Resident 58 USD
    Hong Kong 540 HKD 69USD
    Canadian 90 CAD 89 USD
    Australia 90 AUD 89 USD
    Philippines 2890 65USD

    They dont have the nerve to publish their Japan rates, if you look deep into their packages, someone from Saudi only has one hotel choice. You can also see if you are a passenger from the US you cannot pick Davao, selecting the destination for the passenger ? (Sorry Bob I really wanted to compare Davao for your insight)

    Some of you would say this is free trade for the carrier, to me it is racist, I have lodged so many complaints to PAL and the DOT and I get the for awhile Ser, and we will look into it. No where else does this exist anymore with the internet all that hanky panky died, even the hotel direct is 1300 PHP. So we can call it being riped off because they presume we are loaded but the bottom line is racism is alive.

  30. Katrina says

    Many hardcore nativists may stone me for this but I think they’d be happy if the government implements the skin tax. These people tend to think that “foreigners” should pay more because….they are foreigners. This breeds a very bad mentality — it creates a culture of ‘rip off’ and people think it is right. Well, aren’t they destroying the sense of hospitality of Filipinos…. It’s very self-destructive.

    Since the late 90′s, OPM has steadily deteriorated. The top selling OPM albums are mostly from the 90′s (Jose Mari Chan, Smokey Mountain, Aegis). If only the government will prompt these stations are recording companies to really “hire” genuinely talented people rather than “singers” who use other people’s voice(which doesn’t sound good still) and take music and film seriously and trying to implement a law that mandates playing more OPM than foreign songs, there won’t be any need for foreigner tax.

    Bottom line is: the government is foreshadowing the real problem rather than trying to confront it. Foreigner tax won’t make a difference. If the people sense the deteriorating quality of OPM, they will look elsewhere for “better” music regardless if they are more expensive. Without foreigner tax, concerts by foreign artists are already more expensive(I believe due to the value of peso against other currencies) and for many parts, more patronized.

    • Katrina says

      I’m not saying Filipinos are not talented in music. In fact, I believe otherwise. My point is, they don’t bring the real talented ones to the mainstream. There are a lot of better singers and bands to be found in bars and music lounges (sometimes Karaoke/Videoke places!) than majority of the “stars” in the mainstream.

    • Katrina says

      Given the popularity of Kpop acts in the Philippines, maybe this proposed tax more of directed to them than US/Western artists? I’m not sure, just an assumption.

  31. Katrina says

    I want to add. What is ironic is this case is that the people who tend to agree with this foreigner tax in the Philippines would be the very first to react negatively as if all hell broke lose when say, Filipino professionals will be taxed likewise because they are foreigners in the country.

    If the Philippines implements this, I say tax many for Federal and State taxes and probably sales tax, too! Hahaha. It’s the concept of reciprocation that the Philippine government adheres too in terms of diplomatic relationship.

  32. Tom Martin says

    I agree with you 100%. When I read of this in the newspaper and heard it on the news I thought to myself if they can not compete then maybe they should take a look at their own performance and see what is lacking. Perhaps they should look into pursing another career.

    The type of music productions the ones that want this law passed does not do anything to preserve Philippine culture or history as they claim. They are modern day commercial artist whose music is here today and gone with the next generational fad.

    If I were them I would be a shame to say that my talent is not good enough to compete in the entertainment business and I have to have government protection in order to compensate for my lack of professionalism.

    What next, will they be asking the govenment to guarantee them a certain amount of money for every concert? Will they decide what months they do not want to work in the Philippines and take their act to the United States and get a bill passed that will only allow U.S. entertainers to come to the Philippines in the months they are in the U.S. attracting the American Filipinos to their concerts.

    I read and hear these things and I cannot figure out why some Filipino’s cannot figure out why they have not advanced as far as they could and should have. If your product is not good enough then improve your product do not try to force the person or company producing a better product from selling their product in your country. In the first palce what right do you have to deny your countrymen the opportunity to buy the better product.

    If I was the Filipino concert goer I would be insulted and angry that anyone would try to force me to go to a second rate performance. I would be angry at my government for restricting my choices to choose the entertainer I wanted to support.

    There are many Filipino entertainers that go to the U.S. on a regular basis. Yes, I know their primary audience is Filipino/Americans, but it seems only fair that if a ban or tax is opposed on American entertainers then America should reciprocate with the same type of tax on entertainers from the Philippines. Of course, America will not do it.

  33. AllenO says

    Hi Bob,

    I think its more protectionism than racism. In France they try to control the no. of American movies that are shown, give more special subsidies to French movies. This is not a new thing in the Phil. Back in the 70s and 80s, Phil. session musicians were up in arms because foreign performers would bring their own back up bands rather than hire local musicians. i.e. Frank Sinatra. I think even in the US, some musicians unions would be up in arms about this.

    As for the skin tax, I get the same thing because i’m a Fil Am even though I speak several Pinoy languages. They just tell me I looked rich, maybe its the white american wife I have.

    As for the skin tax when it comes to service, the white skin definitely gets better service, everytime I fly PAL, I always make my wife ask for service and its quicker, long lines at restaurants, I stick her in front of me and we get a table quick. Has worked in Manila, Hong Kong and Singapore. I knew I married a white woman for a reason…LOL

    I would trade being white in the Philippines over being brown in redneck Florida any day. Although I still cant get over the look on some of these guys faces when they come knocking looking to do odd jobs for me.

  34. says

    “To me, this whole issue is way off base. Everybody should pay the same tax rate, regardless of race or citizenship. What do you think?”

    yup. I agree.

  35. says

    Bob – I’m subjected to daily doses of Filipino variety shows on ABS-CBN and GMA via Verizon FIOS. For the most part it is Filipino folks, or 1/2 Filipino folks, doing little more than Karaoke performances of foreign music. While the dancing and spirit of what they do is nice, in most cases the singing is anywhere from sub-par to absolutely awful. Sorry to go negative here, but that’s the plain truth. You can even hear the audience both on the set and around the house laughing their tales off at how bad it is. It is little wonder that no one wants to pay to go see it. A tax on good artists will not make the bad ones better.

  36. Philmor says

    Thanks to Charice, Arnel Pineda, Allan Pineda of Black Eyed Peas and Manny Pacman…. They attracts a lot of foreign artists to come her in Philippines to entertain Filipinos… Shut up Ogie and Kuh… Kuh should reinvent herself like Lady Gaga… or Ogie as Justin

    • Mars Z. says

      On today’s news, Ogie is backing away from the idea of the increased or banning foreigner’s act from performing in Phl, instead he reiterated tax break for local performers. Can we expect good performance because of tax break? lol.

  37. kit says

    Amusement/Entertainment tax is now a whopping flat rate tax at 18% without set offs and has replaced E-vat and low sales tax of 3%. This single re writing of the 1997 Act has done more to damage and destroy grass root culture and talent development in the Philippines than anything else. imagine a 6 fold increase in tax for the lowest earners!!
    Even worse is that any establishment with a stage, mircophone, cultural dancers will also be affected. that means Hotels and resorts that look to entertain guests with a local talent artist now have to surcharge all guest 18% on all sales!!. this is a flat rate increase in tax on E-vat payers even more so probably like 100% as E-vat does have input output allowances whilst Amusement/Entertainment tax does not. More and more we are the authors of our own misfortune.

  38. says

    Unnecessary regulation always comes at a cost. Less foreign concerts means less money for local printers, food vendors, beer sales, ticket sellers, auditoriums.. all the surrounding people who make a living every time a concert is held locally in Philippines. The free-market.. where the People decide what bands they most want to see is how it should be done. If local entertainers can’t get a booking in February.. maybe they aren’t as ‘big’ locally as they think they are.. or they’d be drawing the crowds over some foreign band.

    And making legislation over engagements just for Valentine’s Day? There’s gotta be a better argument than that. If better bands aren’t allowed without a tax (which will simply send managers to take their bands to Tokyo or elsewhere and make money there for those cities.. meanwhile Filipinos here get LESS choice when it comes to entertainment. It’s like California taxing businesses until they get fed up and leave.. then wondering why unemployment is so high. (don’t get me started)

    As for the personal skin tax.. I’ve about given up on getting anywhere on a Tricycle ( and I LOVE riding the Tricycle) because it’s cheaper to use a metered taxi. At least then the rate is fair. But Tricycles.. I can’t get one to take me a 1/2 mile on Mactan for less than 80 Pesos. My g/f says a trip 3 miles to the Ferry by Tricycle should at most cost 30 Pesos. I don’t want to haggle with them to the point it becomes unpleasant so.. I just walk over to a taxi and that’s that. : /

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