House approves 'Eddie Garcia Act' to protect entertainment industry workers

Ratziel San Juan - Philstar.com
House approves 'Eddie Garcia Act' to protect entertainment industry workers
Actor Eddie Garcia poses with his Best Actor award at the 7th Asian Film Awards in Hong Kong in this March 18, 2013 photo.

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved on third and final reading House Bill 7762 or the proposed "Eddie Garcia Act."

If passed into law, the measure would institute policies protecting and promoting the welfare of workers and independent contractors in the entertainment industry across film, television and radio.

The bill received 235 affirmative votes with no other lawmaker voting against it or abstaining.

It is named after the late actor Eddie Garcia, who last year went comatose and later died following an on-set accident during a taping for a Kapuso teleserye.

The proposed "Eddie Garcia Act" requires all employers and principals to provide a contract for workers and independent contractors indicating:

  • Job position and status
  • Job description
  • Period of employment
  • Details of compensation and other benefits including rate, method and schedule of payment
  • Authorized deductions, if any
  • Hours of work and proportionate additional payment or overtime pay
  • Board, lodging, and medical attention
  • Code of conduct
  • Worker's or independent contractor's grievance mechanism
  • Employer’s or principal's policies
  • Any other lawful condition agreed upon by both parties

Normal working hours for entertainment industry workers would be limited to eight hours a day, which can be extended to a maximum of 12 hours, served intermittently or continuously, exclusive of meal periods.

Moreover, work rendered beyond eight hours must be compensated with overtime pay and other benefits provided under existing laws.

The measure also mandates that the minimum wage for workers and independent contractors must not be less than the applicable rate in the region.

The said wages must be paid on time with no deductions unless required or allowed by law.

Employees would also be covered by the Social Security System (SSS), the Home Development Mutual Fund or the Pag-IBIG Fund and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) upon employment.

Employers must also provide for basic necessities, including meals every six hours, enough safe drinking water, PWD-friendly and gender-considerate restrooms, private dressing rooms, safe holding areas, free accommodation in out-of-town services and a dedicated vehicle for emergencies.

The House-approved measure has since been transmitted to and received by the Senate as of Wednesday.

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