According to RA8491, Section 38, a Filipino citizen must salute and face the flag while the National Anthem theme “Lupang Hinirang” is playing. Either in a flag ceremony or even inside the cinema, regardless of nationality and citizenship, each person must give and show a sign of respect when the anthem is playing.
It states that,
“Section 38. When the National Anthem is played at a public gathering, whether by a band or by singing or both, or reproduced by any means, the attending public shall sing the anthem. The singing must be done with fervor.
As a sign of respect, all persons shall stand at attention and face the Philippine flag, if there is one displayed, and if there is none, they shall face the band or the conductor. At the first note, all persons shall execute a salute by placing their right palms over their left chests. Those in military, scouting, citizens military training and security guard uniforms shall give the salute prescribed by their regulations. The salute shall be completed upon the last note of the anthem.
The anthem shall not be played and sung for mere recreation, amusement or entertainment purposes except on the following occasions:
a) International competitions where the Philippines is the host or has a representative;
b) Local competitions;
c) During the “signing off” and “signing on” of radio broadcasting and television stations;
d) Before the initial and last screening of films and before the opening of theater performances; and
e) Other occasions as may be allowed by the Institute.
Section 39. All officials and employees of the national and local government, and any agency or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations, privately-owned entities or offices displaying the national flag and government institutions of learning are hereby directed to comply strictly with the rules prescribed for the rendition of the anthem. Failure to observe the rules shall be a ground for administrative discipline.”
Anyone who violates it will be fined P5,000 up to P20,000. That person could be jailed for up to one year. (Section 50.)
“Section 50. Any person or juridical entity which violates any of the provisions of this Act shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not less than Five thousand pesos (P5,000) nor more than Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000), or by imprisonment for not more than one (1) year, or both such fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court: Provided, That for any second and additional offenses, both fine and imprisonment shall always be imposed: Provided, further, That in case the violation is committed by a juridical person, its President or Chief Executive Officer thereof shall be liable.”
In 2018, 34 people were arrested by the police after failing to honor the National Anthem in a movie theater in Batangas.
Whoever you are, rich or poor, you must be respectful of the National Anthem law or face the penalty. You should stop whatever you are doing as soon as you hear the anthem started to play. Placing your right hand over your left chest while standing in attention is the appropriate position while singing the National Anthem.