Quezon City Councilor Aiko Melendez urged the Senate to pass the so-called “Eddie Garcia” bill, a proposed legislation aimed at protecting workers and/or independent contractors in the film, television, and radio industry.
The veteran actor-turned-politician praised the leadership of House Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez for the swift passage of the measure in the House of Representatives. House Bill No. 1270 was passed last February with a total of 240 votes.
However, seven months after its approval in the lower house, the Senate has yet to pass its version.
The proposed bill was named in honor of the renowned actor Eddie Garcia, who tragically passed away in June 2019 due to an accident while filming a television series for a broadcasting station.
According to Melendez, Garcia’s untimely death underscored the need for a safe working environment for workers in the entertainment industry.
She further pointed out that many in the entertainment industry are independent actors, actresses, and performers, or freelancers, with uncertain salaries and benefits.
In her statement, Melendez called on her fellow artists, now serving as senators, to ensure the passage of this legislation swiftly. This includes Senator Robin Padilla, Senator Jinggoy Estrada, and Senator Bong Revilla.
“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. The safety and rights of workers in the entertainment industry should be a priority,” Melendez concluded.
Among the authors of the “Eddie Garcia” bill in the Senate are Lapid, Estrada, and Padilla, while there are also proposals for the Media Workers’ Welfare Act proposed by Senator Raffy Tulfo, Senator Bong Go, and Senator Legarda.