House panel approves Eddie Garcia Bill on second reading

Published November 21, 2020, 10:12 AM

by Neil Ramos

Better days are in the offing for those working in the entertainment industry.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved on second reading House Bill 7763 or the proposed Actors Occupational Safety and Health Standard Act, as spurred by the untimely death of veteran actor Eddie Garcia last year.

Eddie Garcia

Under the bill, all members of the film, television, and theatre industry, from the biggest stars to bit players, shall be provided with an insurance coverage plan.

In the event of accidents on set, the corporation or producer is bound to pay for the full hospital bill of the worker involved.

It also imposes between eight to 12 working hours for all workers, which include waiting hours between takes.

In case of violations, the employer will face a fine of at least P100,000 per day until it is corrected.

For offenses, the employer will be fined at least P1,000,000 per day with the possibility of its franchise to operate being revoked.

The bill’s principal author, Deputy Speaker and 1-Pacman party-list Rep. Mikee Romero, the son of Garcia’s long time partner, Lilibeth Romero, thanked colleagues for supporting the measure, citing its importance particularly amid the ongoing pandemic.

Rep. Mikee Romero

He said, “The Eddie Garcia bill assumes even greater importance and significance now given the workplace safety issues that have come with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Workers and employers throughout the creative industries can gain much from implementing this measure when it is finally enacted into law.”

He added, “This is Tito Eddie’s eternal legacy to his much loved film, movie and TV industry where he devoted 70 years of his life.”

Garcia suffered from a neck injury after he fell head first shooting a scene for a television program. He died several days after lapsing in a coma. He was 90 years old.