MANILA, Philippines – 1-Pacman Representative Mikee Romero, the stepson of the late actor Eddie Garcia, is set to file a bill seeking to safeguard the well-being of actors while on set.
On Monday, June 24, Romero said the first bill he will file once the 18th Congress opens on July 22 is a measure on occupational safety and health standards for actors, which will be named the "Eddie Garcia Law" in honor of his stepfather.
Under Romero's bill, television and movie production sets would be required to have medical and safety procedures to follow in case of emergencies. "Safety officers" would also be mandated to be deployed during shoots.
The bill would require all actors to have insurance coverage.
Romero also seeks to set specific working hours for actors – around 8 to 12 hours only – depending on their age.
"I expect more than 100 of my fellow legislators to co-sign the bill with me. And likewise expect the Senate through Senate President [Vicente] 'Tito' Sotto to file the counterpart bill in the Senate," said Romero, who is the president of the 54-strong party-list coalition in the House.
Garcia, a veteran in Philippine cinema, was hospitalized on June 8 after he tripped on a cable and fractured his cervical spine while taping for the upcoming GMA teleserye Rosang Agimat.
The fracture left him in a comatose state until his death on June 20. (READ: Lilibeth Romero remembers Eddie Garcia: 'I thought he was immortal')