By REDJIE CAWIS
BAGUIO CITY–It seems like nothing in this world is free anymore.
Even the jeepney drivers will soon have to be paying royalty fees to the Filipino Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (FILSCAP) for playing music.
In a press conference by officers and lawyers of the controversial FILSCAP, they said that they will continue to collect royalty fees from the city’s business establishments and even public utility vehicles including jeepneys and taxi cabs that are playing music.
FILSCAP General Manager Debbie Gaite said that the FILSCAP, a collective management association for composers in the Philippines, collects royalty fees and performance fees from business establishments making use of music as part of their business.
Gaite said that they are already collecting fees from bus lines, ships and airlines in Manila. They will soon be collecting from the city’s public rides too.
Here in Baguio, business establishments are very hostile with the collection of FILSCAP of fees from hotels, restaurants and malls. Hotel associations here are questioning the legality of the FILSCAP to collect such fees.
FILSCAP legal officer head lawyer Thursday Alciso cleared issues that their group is a licensed and legal group that is mandated to collect fees from establishments and they have all the right to do so. “We are just implementing the law pertaining to the Intellectual Property Law.”
Gaite advised establishment owners and even the transport sector to just put off their music if they do not want to pay any fees collected by the FISLCAP.
Gaite added that they have forged memorandum of agreement with the Bars and Restaurants Association of Baguio City Incorporated headed by Michael Balanza. This MOA gives all the right to the FILSCAP to collect royalty fees from member establishment of BRABI starting this March 2010.
Meanwhile, the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio headed by president Anthony De Leon filed a case against the FILSCAP questioning the legality of the organization in collecting fees. They asked the court to issue a temporary restraining order and an injunction which would stop FILSCAP from collecting fees from their establishments. PIA