DEPUTY Speaker and 1-Pacman party-list Rep. Mikee Romero on Thursday underscored the urgency of enacting the proposed “Eddie Garcia Law” even as he expressed fears the fatal shooting accident on the set of the film “Rust” could happen in the country.
Romero 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. 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 recalled.
Lee was only 28 and had a promising movie career ahead when the accident happened.
The Eddie Garcia Act is still pending before the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development. The bill was filed by Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. also an actor.
Romero appealed for urgent affirmative action for the bill in the Senate.
The Lower House approved its version, House Bill (HB) No. 7762, on November 24 last year.
With Romero as principal author, HB 7762 or the “Eddie Garcia Act” 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 movie and similar productions, the bill will provide for various assurances of occupational and health safety on the set, shootings and other production phase to be provided by the producer.
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. The incident took place during the taping of the GMA teleserye ‘Rosang Agimat’.