Freelancers, movie workers in dire need of cash aid for industry 'survival': FDCP

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 15 2020 01:40 PM

MANILA -- Freelancers and workers in the entertainment industry also need cash aid given that the sector is among those fighting for "survival" as the coronavirus crisis continues to upend lives, the head of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) said Friday.

Some 350,000 workers both in the film and live production industry are grappling with income losses due to the pandemic which suspended work in the sector, FDCP chairperson Liza Diño said.

"Marami sa ating manggagawa ay nasa freelance sector at hindi talaga covered nung mga government-instituted benefits natin," she said in a virtual press briefing.

(Many of our workers are freelancers and are not covered by government-instituted benefits.)

"Nakakalungkot dahil very unique at peculiar 'yung sitwasyon ng ating manggagawa," she added.

(It's sad because our workers are in a very unique and peculiar situation.)

Diño explained that while film, music, and TV productions are allowed to resume work starting Saturday, cinemas and theaters are prohibited from reopening which would still impact the industry.

"Kailangan talaga natin humingi ng tulong sa gobyerno para sa national aid sa buong audio-visual and film industry," she said.

(We need to ask for national aid from the government for the entire audio-visual and film industry.)

"Alam naman natin na kahit magbubukas na ang ating businesses 'pag na-lift ang ECQ (enhanced community quarantine), ang cinemas at entertainment industries ay sarado pa din so talagang right now survival ang priority ng FDCP," she added.

(Even though our businesses are allowed to operate once the ECQ is lifted, cinemas and entertainment industries will remain closed so the priority of the FDCP right now is survival.)

The FDCP earlier launched a cash aid program called Disaster/Emergency Assistance and Relief to provide an P8,000 financial assistance to workers in the industry.

Applications for the program are set to end Friday which is why Diño is appealing to the national government for help for the sector.

"Sana po ay masama ang aming industriya sa mga mabibigyan ng direktang suporta dahil kailangan po talaga natin na mabigyan sila tulong," she said.

(We hope that our industry is among those that will be directly supported because we need the help.)