MANILA - An eye-opener. This was how screen veteran Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto described the incident at the set of TV series early June that led to actor Eddie Garcia's death.
For Santos-Recto and fellow actor-turned-politician Senator-elect Lito Lapid, Garcia's accident could be reviewed in an effort to further promote occupational safety regulations in the entertainment industry.
The two were among the high-profile visitors on the morning of the final day of the public viewing and wake for Garcia at the Heritage Park in Taguig on Sunday.
Garcia tripped and fell on the set for a GMA Network series last June 8 and reportedly took time to be brought to the hospital, where it was found he broke his neck.
GMA Network has said it is reviewing the video of the incident and the absence of a medical team on site in its own investigation.
Santos-Recto, however, pointed out that throughout her acting career, she noticed that safety measures were rarely present during shoots.
"This is not the perfect time for fingerpointing. Siguro eye opener lang ito para malaman nila. Kasi I've been in show business mahigit nang 50 years, hindi naman all the time noong araw pa na merong ambulansya sa shooting or merong doktor, " she said.
"But since it happened, siguro magiging eye-opener na 'to na karapat-dapat lamang, lalo na kung action films, na in every shooting or taping ay required na meron tayong medics talaga."
Her sentiment echoed that of the Directors' Guild of the Philippines, Inc., which released a statement the day Garcia passed away.
Lapid, an action star and director who co-starred with Garcia in the ABS-CBN primetime series "FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano," said he would study possible legislation towards occupational safety and tap members of the action industry for input.
"Pag-aaralan namin 'yan kung ano pa, kakausapin natin, magkakaroon ng suggestion mga stuntman, mga direktor. Kamukha ko, ako fight director din ako, stuntman din ako,' yan kailangan meron talagang safety, kaya lang aksidente lang talaga 'yong nangyari sa kanya," he said.
Garcia, who died at 90 last Thursday, had been in critical condition and comatose state for nearly two weeks after the on-set accident during a taping.
Garcia had been on life support, and on June 14 his family agreed to place him under DNR or "do not resuscitate" status, a week before his death.