By Ben Rosario
Initial findings of the Department of Labor and Employment in its probe of the Eddie Garcia death has underscored the need for the passage of an occupational safety and health standards law in the entertainment industry.
1Pacman Partylist Rep. Michael “Mikee” Romero lauded DOLE for conducting an investigation into the incident but urged officials to release the full results of its probe.
Earlier, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that partial findings of the probe on the accident that led to the death of the multi-awarded actor could be partially pinned on GMA 7.
“There was lack of compliance with the requirement that in every activity there should be a safety officer… They didn’t have one. Otherwise, Eddie Garcia would not have died,” Bello told reporters during an interview on Wednesday.
Romero, son of Garcia’s partner Lilibeth Lagman Romero, filed House Bill 181 a few days after Garcia’s death.
HB 181, otherwise known as the Eddie Garcia Act, proposes the creation of an Occupational Safety and Health Standards ACT for film, television and the theater industry.
The bill provides for mandatory personnel and production insurance coverage for all members of the entertainment industry and sets an 8-12 hour standard working hours for them.
Under HB 181, safety and health hazards in the workplace should be identified while the presence of safety officers during shootings, entertainment events should be guaranteed.
The legislative proposal also extends full payment of hospitalization expenses of workers and employees who might meet an accident in the workplace.
The bill proposes the imposition of P100,000 fine for each day of non-compliance to the provisions of the measure.
Garcia who died on June 8 was famous for having the most number of acting and directing awards among Filipinos in the film industry.
Romero said passage of the measure will help guarantee that the accident that victimized Garcia will not happen again as “it will symbolize the last of its kind of accidents and that safety and health protocols” must be put in place.
“It is the duty of the state to protect the lives and safety of each and every individual working in this industry. The state must likewise secure the health and safeness of these individual/s within their areas of workplace,” stressed Romero.