Jinggoy optimistic on enactment of Eddie Garcia bill before Congress’ sine die adjournment

SENATOR Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada is optimistic on the enactment of the landmark legislation that will protect the welfare of workers engaged in the movie and television industry in the country, regardless of functions, roles, positions, or status, before Congress adjourns sine die.

With the House of Representatives’ recent adoption of the Senate version of the proposed Eddie Garcia Law, which will do away with bicameral conference deliberations, Estrada, who is the proponent of the measure in the upper chamber, said the enrolled bill can now be transmitted to Malacañang for the President’s signature.

“For the hardworking, creative, passionate, and dedicated individuals working tirelessly to entertain us, whether on the big screen and TV, this is a long-awaited and much-deserved remuneration,” said Estrada, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development.

Named after the late veteran actor Eddie Garcia, widely regarded as the “greatest Filipino actor of all-time” who died after figuring in an accident while he was on set in 2019, the measure imposes the strict implementation of an eight-hour working time to a maximum of 14 hours, or a total of 60 hours a week.

Likewise, it provides for the insurance coverage of workers in case of accident or death during a movie or TV production, the right to self-organization and collective bargaining, and protection from violence, harassment, or any act that degrades the workers.

Employers must also provide employment contracts, transportation expenses, social security, and welfare benefits to ensure better working conditions and standards.

A Movie and Television Industry Tripartite Council comprised of representatives from the government, employers and industry workers will be created to serve as a continuing channel for tripartite advisement and consultation on policies and programs according to the country’s Labor Code.

“Umaasa tayo na mapipirmahan ito at magiging ganap nang batas sa lalong madaling panahon. Katuparan ito ng matagal nang inaasam na proteksyon sa kapakanan at karapatan ng mga TV and movie industry workers. This is our tribute not just to ‘Manoy’ Eddie Garcia but also to the industry’s dedicated workers. His death will not be in vain,” Estrada said.