MANILA, Philippines - After calling for an immediate regulation of concerts by major international artists in the country, Pop Diva Kuh Ledesma explained her plea Wednesday morning.
In "Umagang Kay Ganda"’s Punto Por Punto, Ledesma stressed that her motion to regulate foreign acts is the best way to promote equal protection of local artists, producers and performers in the country.
"Sa akin naman, protection lang for the local industry. Kasi 'pag Valentine's, napakaraming shows. Ire-regulate lang natin na malayo sa Valentine's ang mga palabas ng foreign artists para mabigyan ng opportunity and success 'yung mga producers and mga artists lalo na 'yung maliliit na artista," she said.
Foreign concert promoter Renen De Guia, on the other hand, disagreed with Ledesma's argument.
"Unfortunately, we cannot choose dates kasi these artists, they go on tour. We can't be very selective. Iyan ang available eh. They schedule their dates within the region. Kung ano 'yung ibinigay sa 'yong dates, 'yun kasi 'yung window eh. Kaya kunin mo na, baka mapunta pa sa iba," he said.
Saying that Filipino artists are religiously paying taxes to the government and foreign artists do not, the 55-year-old singer said they deserve significant appreciation and protection.
“First of all, taxpayers naman ang local artists. Ang mga foreign artists, hindi sila nagbabayad ng taxes," she emphasized.
When the promoter's side was asked about the issue, De Guia replied: "That's not very clear."
However, De Guia defended that foreign concert producers are shouldering high equity fees, as compared to local producers.
"As promoters of foreign artists, we pay equity fees, association ng OPM fees, tapos 'yung amusement tax mas malaki. So I don't know what other kinds of protection or incentives can be done for local artists that's not already being done," he said.
De Guia added that as for him, local entertainers are very much protected. He said that Filipino artists must know how to strategically package themselves to reach a wider market.
"Kung type talaga ng tao na pasukan 'yung concert, papasukan talaga 'yan. Kung hindi type, kahit libre, hindi papasukin, kahit i-regulate. Be more creative kasi globalization na ngayon. Thing of the past na 'yan. The idea now is to compete. Iba na ang rules of the game. The rules of the games have changed. You have to compete," he added.
Ledesma, who has been working in the local music scene for 25 years, disputed De Guia’s defense.
"Ang pinag-uusapan dito (is) to protect what is Filipino. Para tayong nagdadala ng napakaraming influx ng American made things dito. Paano naman 'yung nagbebenta ng Filipino products? Talo na. How is our country going to survive?" she asked.
The Filipina performer reiterated: "I'm not a purist kasi we are welcomed in other countries. We want our foreign acts to also appear there. But we, because we are Third World, limitado ang ating budget dito. Ang konsiderasyon lang namang hinihingi namin especially is on Valentines.”
Before ending her piece, Ledesma expressed her desire to promote local products and advocate patriotism despite looming Western influences.
"Sa akin lang, whether it is a concert or not, kahit anong product, I've always maintained na kapag binili natin ang sariling atin, ma-eenganyo ang mga Pilipino. Mas ma-e-encourage na mas pagalingin pa ang mga produkto. Our local industries have to be protected. Dapat mahalin natin ang sariling atin," she ended.
Scheduled to have concerts in Manila this year are Taylor Swift , Justin Bieber ,Maroon 5, and Janet Jackson.