Movie producers hit ‘haphazard’ premature protocols in resumption of productions

Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 19 2020 11:16 AM

MANILA -- The Philippine Motion Picture Producers Association of the Philippines (PMPPA) slammed what it called the premature release of haphazard guidelines by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) in restarting movie, TV and other allied productions in the entertainment industry. 

In its official statement released to ABS-CBN News on Tuesday, May 19, by Regal Entertainment producer Roselle Monteverde, the PMPPA deplored the lack of consultation of the FDCP with the real workers of the industry in the unilateral issuance last May 16 of FDCP chair Liza Diño of its Interim Guidelines On Safety Protocols For The Conduct Of Film And Audio-Visual Production Shoots To Mitigate COVID-19

Diño said that the guidelines would ensure the prevention of COVID-19 transmission among production workers from the pre-production to the post-production stage.

“Kasama rito ang strict social distancing measures na naaangkop at naka-contextualize film industry, ang ating mga health at sanitation protocols, na dapat nating isapuso at isabuhay, at 'yung medical precautions na dapat nating tinatandaan,” she said.

“Nakakatuwa dahil magsisimula ang produksyon pero nakakakaba rin dahil nakasalalay din dito ang safety ng ating production workers,” Diño added.

At that time, the PMPPA in coordination with other stakeholders in the industry were still hammering the details of the new protocols for resumption of production shoots. The consultation involved the Directors’ Guild of the Philippines, production designers, cinematographers, sound engineers, film editors, screenwriters, independent producers and other groups. 

The multi-sectoral alliance completed its own guidelines on May 18, broadly covering all aspects of audio-visual production. One of its central points is the hiring of a maximum 70 workers for a shoot which is opposed to the FDCP’s ceiling of 50 people on the set. It also specifies their direct coordination with local government units (LGU) for shoots contrary to the FDCP guideline mandating it as coordinator between the production and LGU. 

The group is also instituting anti-piracy checks and a "no lagare" system, a previous norm in the industry where
workers can work simultaneously on two or more productions. 

It also advocates for government to lend assistance to cover costs for the implementation of the new normal in entertainment which is an essential industry. 

The group, representing over 400 film and TV workers, has submitted its 38-page proposal to the COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force. It was signed by among others Orly Ilacad and Maria Lourdes Santos, president and chairman respectively of PMPPA; Paolo Villaluna of the Directors Guild; Bianca Balbuena Liew of the Philippine Independent Producers Group; Mackie Galvez of the Lupon ng Pilipinong Sinematograpo; and Benjamin Tolentino representing film editors.

Here is the full PMPPA statement: 

Movie producers hit ‘haphazard’ premature protocols in resumption of productions 1