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Filmmakers call for change in working conditions

12Mike Sandejas copy

DAHIL sa magkakasunod na pagpanaw ng mga TV and film directors ng ating bansa, naalarma ang ilang entertainment people dahil may kinalaman dito ang hindi magandang working conditions sa industriya ngayon.

Pumanaw noong Feb. 4 ang TV director na si Uro dela Cruz dahil sa sakit na cirrhosis of the liver. Nakilala si direk Uro dahil sa long-running gag show na “Bubble Gang” ng GMA-7.

Noong Feb. 29 naman ay pumanaw ang box-office film and TV director Wenn Deramas dahil sa isang fatal heart attack.

Nakilala si direk Wenn dahil sa box-office hit films niya with Vice Ganda.

Nitong huli naman ay pumanaw ang 39-year-old TV and indie film director Francis Xavier Pasion dahil sa cardiac arrest. Known si direk Francis dahil sa indie film na “Jay.”

Ayon pa sa filmmaker na si Quark Henares, ang dahilan ng paghina ng katawan ng mga director na ito ay dahil sa hindi magandang working conditions sa mga ginagawa nilang TV shows.

“I think the reason a lot of TV directors like Wenn Deramas and Gilbert Perez (who died in 2008), and now Francis Pasion are getting cardiac arrests, is because of the horrible working hours and conditions in television.

“And it’s not just directors: stuntmen, ADs (assistant directors), crew people, and cameramen all go through similar situations.

“This should really change. And I don’t know how it will, considering that this entails losses for the networks. But it really is time.”

Sinang-ayunan naman ng Directors Guild of the Philippines, Inc. (DGPI) President Mike Sandejas ang lumalalang working conditions sa TV and film industry. Hindi raw common ang 24 to 30-hour workdays para sa isang manggagawa sa industriya.

“Yes, the industry is healthier and there is plenty of work to go around but at the same time, the working conditions should also be healthier.

“With the shooting of films and the taping of teleseryes going beyond 16 hours, adjustments also had to be made to conform with the schedules of the top lead stars as well as in relation to budget cuts affecting proper logistics.

That can be stressful to a director who as we say, is the captain of the ship in a given project,” diin pa ni San-dejas.

Nag-propose nga si Sandejas ng ilang suggestions para maiwasan ng bawat industry worker ang magkaroon ng sakit habang nagtatrabaho.

“I recommend that one, they check their health. As some diseases are silent killers, a quick blood chemistry test and blood pressure check certainly won’t hurt and would go a long way in ensuring that they’re always fit to work.

“And two, I want to remind them that working under stressful conditions is a choice. If a director chooses to be subjected to such conditions, at least take preventive health measures.”

May suggestion din ang writer-director na si Chris Martinez na pinost niya sa kanyang Facebook page.

“I am all for fairness in the workplace. But we should also take care of ourselves. Take up a sport. Hit the gym.

Eat healthy.

“Ako, ayoko na. Ayoko na ng pamorningan. Para saan? Para kanino? Para sa pera? Para sa fame? Is it all worth it?