Senate OKs Eddie Garcia bill on third reading

(PHILSTAR) MANILA, Philippines — The Senate yesterday approved on third and final reading the so-called Eddie Garcia bill, which seeks to protect movie and television workers from unfair treatment and poor working conditions.

With 22 affirmative votes and no abstention, senators passed Senate Bill 2505 or the Eddie Garcia Act as part of the Senate’s commitment to promote the welfare of workers.

Several movie personalities, including couple Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera, Garcia’s wife Lilibeth Romero, Martin Nievera and Pops Fernandez and Tirso Cruz III attended the Senate proceedings.

In his speech during the plenary session, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, who sponsored the measure, said the bill “is our acknowledgement to those whose work is often overshadowed by the main content and star power of the main cast. We simply owe it to them.”

The bill was proposed following the death of veteran actor Eddie Garcia after he accidentally tripped on a cable while on the set of a television show in 2019.

“This measure is the Senate’s recognition of the immense talent, dedication and contribution not just of Filipino artists, but also those behind the cameras who put their heart and soul to come up with shows for the movie and television industry,” Estrada said.

Sen. Grace Poe said the approval of the bill is “personal to me.”

“Not every FPJ film can be made without a spiky villain played several times by Tito Eddie,” she said.