PRESIDENT AQUINO has ordered the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to strictly implement what appears to be a forgotten executive order directing radio stations to air at least four Filipino songs every hour on their music programs.
Mr. Aquino ordered the NTC to review compliance with Executive Order No. 255 and see to its strict implementation. He made the announcement before officers of the Organisasyon ng mga Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM) on Friday afternoon.
Mr. Aquino administered the oath of office to the new OPM officers led by his friend Ogie Alcasid, president, and Mitch Valdez, chair, in Malacañang.
Other officers who were sworn in were executive director Elmer Beltran Ingles, vice president for internal affairs Gary Valenciano, vice president for external affairs Noel Cabangon, vice president for special projects Christian Bautista, treasurer Jose Mari Chan, secretary Dingdong Avanzado, and ex-officio trustees Jim Paredes and Celeste Legaspi-Gallardo.
?I am directing the head of the Presidential Management Staff to call up the Department of Transportation and Communications and remind the NTC to fully implement the existing executive order as soon as possible,? the President said in his speech before the artists.
EO 255, or the order ?Requiring all Radio Stations with Musical Format Programs to Broadcast a Minimum of Four Original Pilipino Musical Compositions in Every Clockhour and for Other Purposes,? was issued by the President?s mother, the late former President Corazon Aquino, in July 1987.
The OPM lamented that the directive was no longer being strictly followed to the detriment of the local music industry.
In his speech, President Aquino recalled that when he was a young man in the late 1970s and early ?80s, his family?particularly his martyred father, Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr.?turned to music of people like Celeste Legaspi and Jose Mari Chan to lift their spirits amid the dark days of the Marcos dictatorship.
As a 50-year-old presidential aspirant, he said, he himself turned to music whenever doubt entered his mind about the preparedness of his campaign machinery and about his readiness to serve as president.
?Honestly, when I accepted the challenge, I asked myself, ?What am I getting into? You are not ready and your opponents are all quite prepared. If they don?t find any fault with you they?d just make up something,?? Mr. Aquino said.
The President referred to Regine Velasquez?s ?Hindi Ka Nag-Iisa? composed by her fiancée, Alcasid.
?Your song ?Hindi Ka Nag-Iisa,? from its very first lines, really lifts up one?s feelings. Perhaps, I?m really not alone here. Because of this, thank you very much,? Mr. Aquino told Alcasid and Velasquez.
?What is the central message? Music can really be inviting. If you?re down and hopeless, the situation can be brought back to life, that one can again hope, dream and move forward,? Mr. Aquino said.
?(The art of music and song) really has a huge power. It can be used for good. It can also be used for something that?s not right,? he added.
The President said that when his father was detained at Fort Bonifacio under the martial law regime in the 1970s, Legaspi?s ?Saranggola ni Pepe? gave him hope that those dark days would eventually end.
?(I?m) sorry because there really is no connection but when we were in Bonifacio and we were facing really dark days, when it seemed we were already losing our allies, whenever we would listen to ?Saranggola ni Pepe? and we would imagine a kite flying high, one would really be encouraged that the darkness would soon turn to light in the days ahead,? Mr. Aquino said.