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Palace signs ‘Eddie Garcia’ law protecting entertainment workers

PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. has signed into law a bill protecting workers in the movie and television industries, setting standards for wages, contracts, and work hours.

Republic Act 11996 — the so-called “Eddie Garcia law,” named after the actor who died following an on-set accident in 2019 sets the minimum wage of television or film workers at not less than the applicable minimum wage in the region where they are hired.

Wages are to be paid on time, as agreed upon in the contract, directly to the workers, it said.

The law requires employers to give workers or contractors a copy of their contracts, which should spell out the number of work hours, job position and description, period of employment, and details of compensation in a language understood by both parties.

Entertainment workers must receive wage-related benefits, social security and government-mandated benefits and insurance, according to the law, which also requires overtime pay.

“No agreement or employment contract shall discriminate against a worker who has contracts or projects with other production outfits unless exclusivity is specified in the contract, nor shall any person perform any act involving preference based on race, color, descent, national or ethnic origin, or religion, which has the purpose or effect of nullifying the recognition, enjoyment, or exercise on an equal footing of any human right or fundamental freedom,” according to the law. 

The law also requires employers to comply with occupational safety and health standards under the Labor Code and a 2018 law on occupational safety and health standards. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza