THE Philippines’ House of Representatives on Tuesday, November 24, approved on the third and final reading the proposed “Eddie Garcia Act,” which seeks to institute workplace safety protocols for television and movie productions.
With 235 affirmative votes, the lower chamber passed House Bill 7762, named after veteran actor Garcia, who died following an accident on the set of a GMA-7 television series last year.
Under the bill, the worker or independent contractor and the employer are required to execute an agreement or an employment contract in a language or dialect understood by both parties before the commencement of service.
The contract should include the job position and status; job description; period of employment; details of compensation and other benefits; authorized deductions, if any; hours of work and proportionate additional payment for overtime hours; board, lodging, and medical attention; code of conduct; grievance mechanism for the employee; employer’s policies; and any other lawful condition agreed upon by both parties.
The bill also limits work hours to eight hours per day, which can be extended to a maximum of 12 hours, served intermittently or continuously, exclusive of meal periods.
Work rendered beyond 8 hours would be subject to overtime pay and other benefits provided under existing laws.
For wages, the bill requires that the worker’s or the independent contractor’s minimum wage would not be less than the applicable minimum wage in the region.
Employees are required to be covered by the Social Security System, the Pag-IBIG Fund, and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation upon employment.
Meanwhile, employers or principals are required to strictly comply with the occupational safety and health standards set by law. They must also conduct a risk assessment of the workplace or location of production to identify and eliminate or control any potential hazard to the film, television, and radio entertainment workers or independent contractors.
Garcia on June 8, 2019 tripped on cable wires while taping a scene for a GMA-7 television series in Tondo, Manila. He remained in a coma for nearly two weeks before he died on June 20 at the age of 90.