Quezon City District 1 (QCD1) Rep. Arjo Atayde thanked Congress for approving the third and final reading of a bill that establishes a safer working environment for workers of the movie and television industry.

“Nagpapasalamat ako sa aking mga kasama sa Kamara sa pagpasa ng Eddie Garcia bill. Bilang kasapi ng movie and TV industry, alam kong malaki ang maitutulong nito sa pagprotekta sa kapakanan ng mga nasa industriya,” Atayde said.

The House of Representatives, voting 240-0, late last week passed House Bill 1270 or the Eddie Garcia Act 240-0. Atayde is among the authors of the measure, which aims to improve working conditions across the movie and TV industry by setting occupational safety and health standards for employees.

The measure is named after actor Eddie Garcia, whose death in 2019 was caused by an accident on set while working on a TV series. The House of Representatives passed it on third and final reading in 2020. The Senate, however, failed to pass its counterpart bill during the 18th Congress.

The bill mandates that show or movie producers comply with occupational health and safety standards which the Department of Labor and Employment is required to formulate. 

It requires employers to provide workers or contractors with a copy of a contract that explicitly states the number of work hours, job position and description, period of employment, details of compensation and other conditions relating to the person’s work.

The measure also mandates that a movie or TV industry worker is  entitled to overtime pay if they render their services beyond eight hours in a day, with the maximum extension set at 12 hours. Work hours in a week shall also not exceed 60 hours.

Employees shall also be entitled to insurance and other social welfare benefits.

Atayde, who serves as vice chair of the House Creative Industry and Performing Arts committee, said the passage of the proposed legislation is timely as the industry is recovering.

“We cannot go back to the old ways of doing things, where industry workers face precarious conditions with the barest of protection from the government. We have to learn from the lessons of Manoy Eddie’s death and that of others who have suffered,” the lawmaker said.

He also expressed confidence that the Senate would soon pass the counterpart measure necessary for its enactment.

“Naniniwala tayong batid ng ating mga Senador ang pangangailangan na maisabatas ang Eddie Garcia Bill sa lalong madaling panahon,” said Atayde.

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