A bill providing better working conditions for the movie, television and radio entertainment industry is inching its way into law following its second reading approval at the House of Representatives.
During Monday’s plenary session, the chamber passed through voice voting House Bill 1270, or the proposed Eddie Garcia Act, which aims to provide workers in those industries opportunities for gainful employment and a decent income, and protect them from abuse, harassment, hazardous working conditions and economic exploitation.
The bill is named after the late veteran actor Eddie Garcia, who died in 2019 after suffering a neck injury while shooting for a television series.
Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte, author of the bill, cited the Directors Guild of the Philippines saying that productions would go from 16 to 24 continuous work hours per set and would cram to save costs.
“The movie and television industry is one of the many industries whose work hours are unorthodox, owing to the nature of the industry itself. They clock in depending on the needs of the shoot and work extra for preparations prior. As they do not follow the regular eight to five work hours, there is a need to regulate the working conditions of this industry to avoid cases of overworking among their workforce,” Villafuerte said.
The bill proposes that the normal work hours of the worker or talent shall be eight hours a day.
Overtime work is also taken into consideration and should not exceed more than 12 hours in a 24-hour period.
The total number of work hours shall not exceed 60 hours in a week.
Work rendered beyond eight hours shall be compensable with overtime pay and other benefits provided under existing laws.
The bill provides that the minimum wage rates of workers or independent contractors shall not be less than the applicable minimum wage in the region.
The employee shall also be entitled to social security and welfare benefits such as the Social Security System, the Home Development Mutual Fund or the Pag-IBIG Fund and PhilHealth insurance.
It mandates the employer to comply with occupational safety and health standards, promote mental health and prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.
The bill also provides for proper compensation and facilities, such as transportation and accommodation, for talents and workers working in location shoots. (PNA)