Marcos signs ‘Eddie Garcia’ Law

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star
Marcos signs �Eddie Garcia� Law
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 — Named after a veteran actor, the “Eddie Garcia Law” has been signed by President Marcos to protect and ensure the welfare of workers in the movie and television industry.

Republic Act 11996, signed on May 24, mandates the implementation of work hours, wages and other wage-related benefits, social security and welfare services, basic necessities, health and safety, working conditions and standards and insurance.

Workers and employers or principals shall execute an agreement or an employment contract in a language or dialect understood by both parties before the commencement of service, according to RA 11996.

Employers must comply with occupational safety and health standards.

The minimum wage shall not be less than the applicable minimum wage in the region where the worker is hired and wages shall be paid on time directly to the worker.

Workers are entitled to benefits provided by the Social Security System, the Home Development Mutual Fund and the Philippine Health Insurance Corp.

Upskilling and reskilling of workers are also included in the new law.

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority is directed to develop and implement a system of continuing skills upgrading, reskilling and training of workers in the movie and television industry.

Violators could face a P100,000 fine for the first offense; P200,000, second offense and P500,000 for the third and succeeding offenses.

“If the violation is committed by a corporation, trust or firm, partnership, association or any other entity, the fines shall be imposed upon the entity’s responsible officers, including, but not limited to, the executive producer, producer, production manager and business unit manager,” the law said.

“No agreement or employment contract shall discriminate against a worker who has contracts or projects with other production outfits unless exclusivity is specified in the contract, nor shall any person perform any act involving preference based on race, color, descent, national or ethnic origin or religion, which has the purpose or effect of nullifying the recognition, enjoyment, or exercise on an equal footing of any human right or fundamental freedom,” it noted.

Veteran actor Eddie Garcia died in 2019 due to an accident while shooting a TV series.

His family yesterday welcomed the enactment of the measure, saying that Garcia’s death has served as a wake-up call for a safe workplace in the entertainment industry.

“We would like to express our deep gratitude to the President for honoring the life of Manong Eddie, Manoy to family and friends, and his contributions to the entertainment industry,” 1-Pacman party-list Rep. Mikee Romero, Garcia’s stepson, said in a statement.

Romero is the principal author of the measure in the House of Representatives.

He recalled that Garcia “tripped on loose cables” on the film set and “suffered cervical cracks and fractures” that led to his death.

The accident highlighted the need for a safe workplace in the industry, he said.

House Speaker Martin Romualdez said Garcia’s legacy “inspired us to take action and ensure that no worker has to face unsafe working conditions.”

“The ‘Eddie Garcia Law’ is our promise to do better by our actors, crew members and everyone who brings our stories to life,” he added. — Sheila Crisostomo Marc Jayson Cayabyab

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