Jul 9, 2019

Last Jun. 20, veteran actor Eddie Garcia passed away from an untimely death caused by an accident at the set of an upcoming teleserye. (Read: Not that easy to forget: Eddie Garcia films to remember his legacy) After tripping on some loose wires, the actor sustained a neck fracture and was in a comatose state for weeks.

This fatal incident ended up bringing to light the lack of protection actors and other workers in the entertainment industry have when it comes to occupational hazards. Garcia’s totally-preventable-fall is not the first accident to have taken place while on the set; last year, Christopher de Leon was shot in the thigh with a blank bullet while filming a separate teleserye.

Let’s not forget the deaths of TV directors Wenn V. Deramas and Francis Xavier Pasion in 2016, both caused by premature heart attacks born out of their pressure cooker work environment. (Read: The PH film industry isn’t doing as well as South Korea’s. What gives?) The nonstop work (long hours and not enough breaks) that comes with being in the industry has taken many lives.

In light of all this, Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. has filed a bill called the “Eddie Garcia Law” which will provide occupational safety for these workers. According to Inquirer.net, “the bill sets standard working hours for movie and television workers from eight to 12 hours a day. For elderly workers or those aged 60 years and above, the hours of work must not exceed eight hours.”

If enacted, the Department of Labor and Employment will “formulate occupational safety and health standards for workers in the movie and television industry.” Aside from that, movie and TV producers will be required to provide health insurance to their employ. Should artists and workers fall ill, be injured, “suffer complications,” or even die in the course of their work, they (and their families) must be compensated.

Under the bill, violators will be fined P150,000 or imprisonment of up to six years.

This isn’t the only such bill filed after Garcia’s death. His stepson, 1-Pacman Rep. Michael Romero, also filed a similar bill at the House of Representatives.


Featured photo courtesy of Inquirer.net

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