Press Release
May 29, 2020

FDCP Chair thanks Sen. Revilla for championing plight of entertainment industry during COVID-19 pandemic

Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) Chairperson and CEO Lisa Dino-Seguerra expressed her overwhelming gratitude to Sen. Ramon "Bong" Revilla, Jr. for serving as "the voice of workers" under the entertainment industry who felt the worst impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Revilla revealed that there are 865,000 creative workers and artists who are affected. According to the Department of Finance (DOF) and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), the Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Industry is the most affected business sector in the Philippines due to the pandemic followed by Tourism. Around 460,000 workers employed under eight major film companies and 11,000 micro, small and medium enterprises, 280,000 workers in the live events sector, and 125,000 freelance artists and cultural workers have been displaced since the government implemented the Enhanced Community Quarantine in March. Majority of these workers are freelance artists employed through "open window application" who are unable to compile and prepare the needed documents for social aid.

Seguerra told Revilla and other legislators that workers under the arts, entertainment and recreation industry were not able to receive cash aid from the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) since they are considered as an informal sector, and the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) because they are not categorized as "most vulnerable."

The arts, entertainment and recreation industry, with an estimated worth of P 689 billion amounting to 6.52 percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), is now facing the danger of significant collapse if government support will not be rendered immediately. It was also poised to contribute P 200 Billion in gross revenues to the national economy.

During a virtual joint hearing Friday morning, the FDCP Chair appealed to the Senate Committee on Finance and Senate Committee on Economics to include the 865,000 creative workers and artists. She also thanked Revilla for always standing up for the workers in the arts, entertainment and recreation industry.

"Dahil po hindi kami nahahagip ng mga census studies ng Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), minsan po ay nakakalimutan po ang aming pinagdadaanan, at kalagayan ng mga nasa industriyang ito. Kaya salamat po talaga, Senator Bong (Revilla) for championing this and for allowing us to finally have a space to tell you and share with you who we are," Seguerra said.

In response, Bong Revilla assured Seguerra that he will continue to support the displaced workers in the entertainment, arts and recreation sector by looking into the possibility of including them in the second wave of the government's social amelioration.

"Sa hirap ng pinagdaraanan ngayon hindi lamang ng arts, entertainment and recreation industry kundi ng buong mundo ang nagdurusa because of this pandemic. Pero makaasa po kayo na gagawin natin ang lahat para mabigyan ng tulong ang ating mga kapatid sa industriya na talagang umaaray na dahil sa hirap na kanilang pinagdaraanan. Makaaasa po kayo na nandito ako na laging maninindigan at magsisilbing boses ng industriya natin," Revilla said.

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