House approves 'Eddie Garcia bill'

Rg Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 06 2023 05:50 PM

MANILA — The House of Representatives on Monday approved on 3rd and final reading the so-called "Eddie Garcia Bill" that seeks to protect entertainment industry workers. 

All 240 lawmakers present voted in favor of House Bill 1270 or the proposed "Eddie Garcia Act". 

The measure consolidates 6 related measures, one of which was authored by Garcia’s congressman-stepson, 1PACMAN Rep. Mikee Romero.

The Speaker's office said in a press release that the bill defines an industry worker or independent contractor as “any person engaged or hired by the employer or principal to render services involving the production, distribution, and exhibition of film, television, and radio entertainment content.”

The bill provides that an industry worker or independent contractor “shall be governed by the provisions of the Civil Code on contracts and other applicable laws, but not lower than the standards provided under Presidential Decree No. 442, or the Labor Code of the Philippines, as amended.”

The worker or contractor shall execute an agreement or employment contract in a language or dialect understood by both parties before he or she is asked to render service. 

The bill mandates that normal work shall be for 8 hours, which can be extended to a maximum of 12 hours, including waiting time in the set or workplace. It also states that service beyond 8 hours shall be paid overtime pay. It caps work hours at 60 hours in a week. The bill includes travel time to and from out-of-town projects as compensable working time.

Work for minors shall be governed by Republic Act No. 9231 or the Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act.

It also states that the minimum wage of an industry worker/contractor shall not be less than the minimum wage in the region.

The employee or contractor shall be covered by the Social Security System, Home Development Mutual Fund and PhilHealth insurance, with premiums to be shared by the employer.

The proposed law mandates that the employer or principal “shall not subject or allow the worker or independent contractor to be subjected to any kind of abuse, physical violence of harassment or any act that degrades the dignity of the worker or independent contractor.”

The bill also protects the intellectual property rights of a performer, which would consist of his or her performance in a film, radio or TV production. He or she shall be compensated for the subsequent use or broadcast of performance.

In a statement, Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez explained that HB No. 1270 would cover thousands of people working in the entertainment sector.

“It would ensure that they continue to have gainful employment and protect them against abuse, harassment, dangerous working environment, and exploitation,” he said.

The bill was titled after the popular actor who died in June 2019 following an accident while filming a teleserye.

“Manong Eddie was a hugely popular actor well-loved by many Filipinos. It was unfortunate that he died in such circumstances. But the accident served as a wake-up call for the industry and for us policymakers in Congress,” Romualdez said.


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