Press Release
February 20, 2024

Poe sees rebirth of TV, film industry with 'Eddie Garcia' bill

Sen. Grace Poe said the passage of the "Eddie Garcia" bill will pave the way for better working conditions and compensation for workers in the entertainment industry.

"Like a rebirth of the entertainment industry, we see this legislation ushering a new beginning where the people behind the camera will be in the spotlight -- protected, decently paid and thriving," Poe said.

Poe is one of the advocates of Senate Bill 2505 or the Eddie Garcia bill which was recently approved on third and final reading in the Senate.

The measure seeks to provide industry workers opportunities for gainful employment and decent incomes, as well as protection from abuse, extended working hours, harassment, hazardous conditions, and economic exploitation.

The bill was filed in honor of actor Eddie Garcia, who died in June 2019 following an accident while taping for a TV series.

Poe said the approval of the bill is "immensely personal" to her as Garcia was the best buddy of her father, the late National Artist Fernando Poe Jr.

"Si Tito Eddie o 'Manoy' sa kanyang mga tagahanga ay hindi lamang simbolo ng isang magaling at respetadong artista, kundi siya rin ay simbolo na ngayon ng mga manggagawa sa industriya na naghahangad ng pantay na pagtrato at karagdagang proteksyon sa kanilang pagtatrabaho," Poe said.

"Matagal nang hinaing ng industriya na mabigyan ng karampatang benepisyo at proteksyon ang lahat ng mga manggagawa nito. Panahon na para suportahan natin ang pagsasabatas ng kanilang mga karapatan," she added.

Poe said film and TV workers should get at least the minimum wage and are entitled to SSS, Pag-IBIG, PhilHealth, and other social welfare benefits.

"Creative work is work. Employees in the industry deserve just compensation, benefits, and humane work environment," Poe said.

She added the employer should provide nutritious meals, water, sanitary facilities, private dressing rooms, and comfortable holding areas. Safety officers and emergency vehicles must also be ready at all times.

During the deliberations on the bill, Poe said they ensured that all aspects on the rights and welfare of the industry workers are covered.

The bill has also strict provisions like penalties to deal with violations.

"The death of a dear friend and beloved icon, Eddie Garcia, due to poor working conditions in the industry was sadly not the first, but it should be the last," Poe said.

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