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Press Release - Jinggoy: Eddie Garcia bill up for final reading

A BILL seeking to provide protection to the rights and ensuring the welfare of movie and television industry workers has made progress in the Senate and is now due for third and final reading next week, Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada said.

"Even after his passing, Eddie Garcia, widely regarded as the greatest Filipino actor of all time, continues to make history. His legacy, carried under his name, will undoubtedly benefit his colleagues," stated Estrada, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Labor and sponsor of Senate Bill No. 2505, or the proposed Eddie Garcia Law.

Estrada on Monday steered the approval on second reading of the measure, that would guarantee industry workers opportunities for gainful employment and decent incomes and protection from abuse, extended working hours, harassment, hazardous conditions, and economic exploitation.

Once passed into law, the veteran lawmaker said Congress will be enacting landmark legislation as the measure will institute needed reforms involving over 400 establishments and thousands of workers.

"Unique at sinasabing 'peculiar' ang movie and TV industry dahil sa tinagal-tagal na panahon ay naging normal na sa kanila ang mag-trabaho ng mahabang oras. Minsan ay umaabot pa ng 36 oras o non-stop. Sa panukalang batas, may itatakdang maximum na oras ang kanilang trabaho para na rin mapangalagaan ang kanilang kapakanan," Estrada said.

Aside from prescribing a normal eight-hour work or up to a maximum of 14 hours or a total of 60 hours in a week, the bill also includes specific provisions on social welfare benefits and insurance from work-related incidents or deaths that would provide the much-needed security and protection in an industry known for its unpredictable nature.

"We cannot allow karoshi, a Japanese term which means death by overwork, to continue in our film and TV industry. We can't go on like this," Estrada said.

With overwhelming support from his Senate colleagues, Estrada expressed optimism that the bill will breeze through third reading and have the upper chamber's version consolidated with the House of Representatives' bill that was passed last year ratified in a weeks' time.

"Personal ko na layunin na