Senate urged to pass ‘Eddie Garcia’ bill
The Manila Times
QUEZON City 5th District Councilor Aiko Melendez urged the Senate to pass the “Eddie Garcia” bill, which was submitted to the upper chamber in February this year. In a statement, Melendez specifically called on her fellow artists and incumbent Senators Robin Padilla, Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. to help ensure the swift passage of the proposed legislation. She said it is primarily aimed at protecting workers and/or independent contractors in the film, television and radio industries. On the other hand, the veteran actor-turned-politician praised the leadership of House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez for the passage of House Bill (HB) 1270 last February with a total of 240 votes. However, seven months after the House approved its version, the Senate has yet to pass its counterpart bill, she lamented. The bill was named in honor of renowned actor Eddie Garcia, who died in June 2019 due to an accident while filming a television series for a broadcasting station. Garcia’s untimely death underscored the need for a safe working environment for workers in the entertainment industry, Melendez said. She said that many in the entertainment industry are independent actors, actresses, performers, or freelancers with uncertain salaries and benefits. “As an actress, I’ve personally experienced and witnessed the challenges and dangers in our industry. I appeal to our colleagues in the Senate to give serious attention to this bill,” Melendez said. “The safety and rights of workers in the entertainment industry should be a priority,” she added. Aside from Estrada and Padilla, Senator Lito Lapid was the co-author of the Eddie Garcia bill, while there was also the pending Media Workers’ Welfare Act, authored by Senators Raffy Tulfo, Christopher Go and Loren Legarda.