House Deputy Speaker and 1PACMAN Partylist Rep. Mikee Romero on Thursday, Oct. 28 appealed for “urgent affirmative action” on the proposed “Eddie Garcia Act” that is pending in the Senate amid the controversy over the fatal shooting accident in the set of the US film “Rust” recently
Romero is the principal author of the House Bill 7762 or the “Eddie Garcia Act” that was passed on final reading in the Lower House in November, 2021.
He said HB 7762 contains provisions that would prevent a similar incident that happened in the “Rust” set from happening in the country. It was precisely the prevention of serious accidents like the one that befell local veteran actor Garcia that prompted him to propose the measure.
Romero noted that police investigation into the movie set tragedy that took place in the United States and implicated veteran actor Alec Baldwin appeared to be pointing the blame on “negligence and carelessness” among the crew and producers of the film.
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed while film Director Joel Souza was injured when Baldwin fired a prop gun that accidentally hit the two victims. The prop gun turned out to be loaded with live rounds, instead of blank bullets.
“It is sad to note that the Rust tragedy turned to be a replay of what happened to young actor Brandon Lee who was killed while filming the movie “The Crow.” Lee, son of the legendary Bruce Lee, was shot by a fellow actor who was not aware that the gun used in the shooting had live bullets , instead of blanks,” Romero recalled.
Lee was only 28 and had a promising movie career ahead of him when the accident happened in 1993.
The Eddie Garcia Act is still pending before the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development. The bill was filed by Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. also an actor.
Romero appealed for urgent affirmative action for the bill in the Senate.
With Romero as principal author, HB 7762 or the “Eddie Garcia Act” seeks to set policies for the protection of workers and independent contractors, including actors, extras and others involved in film, television and radio entertainment industries.
Romero made sure that aside from guarantees for better pay and working conditions for workers and actors involved in movie and similar productions, the bill will provide for various assurances of occupational and health safety on the set, shootings and other production phase to be provided by the producer.
Insurance coverage should also be provided by the employer or the producer.
Also, the bill mandates employers to always provide a dedicated vehicle for emergency use during production processes.
Romero filed the bill in honor of Garcia, a multi-awarded actor who died after accidentally tripping on a cable, causing a fractured cervical spine in 2019. The incident took place during the taping of the GMA teleserye ‘Rosang Agimat’.