MANILA – House Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero on Thursday called for the immediate passage of the proposed "Eddie Garcia Law", as he warned of possible incidents similar to the fatal shooting accident on the set of the Western film “Rust” earlier this month.
Romero said the measure seeks to set policies for the protection of workers and independent contractors, including actors, extras, and others involved in film, television, and radio entertainment industries.
Romero made sure that aside from guarantees for better pay and working conditions for workers and actors involved in the movie and similar productions, the bill will provide for various assurances of occupational and health safety on the set, shootings and other production phases to be provided by the producer.
He noted that police investigation into the movie set tragedy that took place in the United States and implicated veteran actor Alec Baldwin appeared to be pointing the blame on “negligence and carelessness” among the crew and producers of the film.
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed while film Director Joel Souza was injured when Baldwin fired a prop gun and accidentally hit the two victims.
According to reports, the prop gun turned out to be loaded with live rounds, instead of blank bullets.
“It is sad to note that the Rust tragedy turned to be a replay of what happened to young actor Brandon Lee who was killed while filming the movie 'The Crow'. Lee, son of the legendary Bruce Lee, was shot with a live bullet by a fellow actor who was assured that the gun was loaded with blanks,” Romero said.
The bill has hurdled final reading approval at the House of Representatives in November last year.
Meanwhile, the counterpart version of the Senate is still pending before the Committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resources Development.
Romero appealed for urgent affirmative action for the bill in the Senate.
The bill states that insurance coverage should also be provided by the employer or the producer.
Also, the bill mandates employers to always provide a dedicated vehicle for emergency use during production processes.
Romero filed the bill in honor of Garcia, a multi-awarded actor who died after accidentally tripping on a cable, causing a fractured cervical spine in 2019.