Following Eddie Garcia’s death, lawmakers propose bill to protect actors at work

The late Eddie Garcia and his stepson, 1-Pacman party-list Representative Michael “Mikee” Romero (inset)

Party-list lawmakers in the Philippine House of Representatives will be filing a bill next month that seeks workplace safety protocols for television and movie productions to avoid accidents similar to the one that led to the death of multi-awarded veteran actor Eddie Garcia.

1-Pacman Rep. Mikee Romero, the bill’s proponent, said the proposal will be called the “Eddie Garcia Law,” or the Actors’ Occupational Safety and Health Standard Bill.

Romero said this is his way of putting a bigger meaning to his late stepfather’s death.

“I expect more than 100 of my fellow legislators to cosign the bill with me. And [I] likewise expect the Senate, through [Senate President Vicente] ‘Tito’ Sotto, to do the counterpart bill,” he added.

Romero explained that the bill will be “a means to safeguard the welfare and well being of all actors working in the television and/or in the movie industries.”

The Eddie Garcia Bill will provide: 1. Mandatory actors and production insurance; 2. Specific working hours for a) below 18 years old, b) 18-59 years old and c) 60 years old and above (senior citizen); 3. Medical and safety procedures on the production set and within its area of responsibility; 4. Mandatory installation of safety officers within its area of responsibility; 5. Emergency standards and procedures; and 6. Penalties and liabilities for violation.

Bagong Henerasyon Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy previously announced that the Partylist Coalition Foundation Inc. (PCFI) would nominate Garcia for National Artist.

“The man and his legacy stand for what is beautiful and true about Philippine art, specifically in film and television,” she said.

Garcia on June 8 tripped on cable wires while taping a scene for his upcoming GMA-7 television series in Tondo, Manila. He remained in a coma for nearly two weeks before he died on June 20 at the age of 90. 

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