Senator Manuel “Lito” Lapid has filed a bill that aims to protect the welfare of artists and other workers in the showbiz industry. Named the “Eddie Garcia” law, the Senate Bill No. 1889 is in commemoration of the veteran actor who passed away in 2019.
Under the proposed bill, decent earnings are guaranteed, along with protection from abuse, harassment, unfavorable working conditions, and economic exploitation for those working in the entertainment industry. The bill was filed by Lapid, who is also a co-director and lead actor in the new teleserye ‘FPJ’s Batang Quiapo,’ due to the lack of coverage in social protection programs for the entertainment industry. The senator notes that the government has failed to recognize and accept the unique nature of entertainment work.
The proposed law seeks to establish the Eddie Garcia Board, which would be responsible for providing social protection programs to artists and other workers in the showbiz industry. The board would be under the Department of Labor and Employment and would be composed of various industry stakeholders.
Lapid’s proposed legislation is not the first attempt to provide better protection to those working in the entertainment industry. In 2019, Senator Bong Revilla filed a similar bill, the “Act Providing Protection to Workers in the Film and Television Industry.” In the same year, the House of Representatives passed the “Philippine Film Industry Incentives Act” to promote the development of the local film industry.
The entertainment industry has always been a vital part of Filipino culture, and the proposed “Eddie Garcia” law aims to improve the welfare of artists and workers in the industry. The bill has yet to be deliberated on in the Senate, but its filing signals a growing recognition of the need to provide better protection and support to the entertainment industry, which has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.