A bill seeking to protect workers in the television and film industry has been approved at the subcommittee level in the House of Representatives.
The House subcommittee on labor standards on Tuesday, August 18, approved the Actors’ Occupational Safety and Health Standard Bill, also known as the Eddie Garcia Bill, in honor of the veteran actor who passed away in 2019 after an accident during the filming of a television series.
Under the bill filed by 1-PACMAN party-list Rep. Michael Romero, Eddie’s stepson, safety and medical personnel shall be deployed in all workplaces and areas during work hours.
The bill also provides for mandatory personnel and production insurance coverage.
In the event of an accident on set, the corporation or producer shall be responsible for bearing the cost of the full hospital bill of its employee. It shall also pay for the worker's loss of livelihood until he is able to work again.
The measure also sets standard working hours. It states that actual hours of work of employees shall not exceed 8 hours in a day. If the worker is required to work beyond 8 hours, the maximum actual hours of work shall not exceed 12 hours in any 24-hour period.
In a statement, Romero said he anticipates the bill’s “swift and prudent approval at committee and later on second and third readings at the soonest.”
“The Eddie Garcia bill assumes even greater importance and significance now given the workplace safety issues that have come with the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
“Workers and employers throughout the creative industries can gain much from implementing this measure when it is finally enacted into law,” he added.