Celebrities turn emotional in House hearing on media workers’ rights | Inquirer News

Celebrities turn emotional in House hearing on media workers’ rights

/ 02:55 PM February 03, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Working in the film and television industry isn’t all glitz and glam as behind the camera, workers also have their own plight to simply accomplish a project for the public’s entertainment.

During the House committee on labor and employment’s inquiry on the case of veteran actor Eddie Garcia, who died following an accident while filming on location for a television series, some celebrities shared the plight of workers in the film and television industry.

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For actor Ice Seguerra, there is a tendency for the rights of workers in their industry to be “abused” due to their passion for what they do.

“Dire-diretso ang paggawa ng pelikula namin noon. Before talagang kahit sa init ng araw, nasa ilalim lang kami ng payong, nakaupo. Walang maayos na lugar,” Seguerra, who started in the industry at a very young age, said.

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(Before, the production of a film is non-stop. Even if we are under the heat of the sun, we sit under umbrellas to give us shade.)

“Medyo nag-level up para sa mga artista but unfortunately, for the extras, it’s like this until now. They come to the set earlier than all of us but you see them sitting in cardboard boxes, wala man lang matinong upuan, walang pa-merienda minsan,” he added.

(It has improved for artists but unfortunately for the extras, it’s like this until now. They come to the set earlier than all of us but you see them sitting in cardboard boxes, without any proper seats, no meals at times.)

Many, however, do not speak up of their struggles as some are bound by their contracts while others simply do not have a choice or they will be easily replaced, Seguerra said.

“We’ve been there for so many years making you laugh, making you cry, we’re there,  you see us everyday. But parang laging nasasantabi yung mga karapatan ng taong nagt-trabaho dahil lang kasi mahal namin yung ginagawa namin ng todo-todo,” Seguerra said.

(We’ve been there for so many years making you laugh, making you cry, we’re there,  you see us everyday. But it’s like our rights are always being set aside only because we love what we are doing.)

“‘Yun lang naman po ang hinihiling namin na marecognize din po yang mga karapatan namin, especially those who are sweldo na mas mababa sa artista which are the crew, the utility, the extras, talagang masasabi mong no regard for their safety,” he added.

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(That’s the only thing we are asking for—that our rights be recognized especially those who earn less than the actors which are the crew, the utility, the extras. You can really say that there is no regard for their safety.)

Veteran actor Bembol Roco echoed Seguerra’s sentiments, saying that even in the 80s, workers in the television and have been fighting for their rights.

“Hindi naman kami humihingi ng hindi sapat. Sa amin, fairness lang. Medyo naabuso kaming lahat sa industriya ,sa patakaran ng mga networks, ng mga producers na ganun ang sistema—walang working hours,” Roco said.

(We are not asking for too much. For us, we are asking for fairness. We are being abused in the industry with the networks’ and producers’ policies—no working hours.)

“We’re still hopeful in my lifetime, we will see a positive change,” he added.

The panel was deliberating on several measures that seek to provide occupational safety and health standards for the film, television, and theater industry in the country.

1-PACMAN Rep. Enrico Pineda, who chairs the House panel on labor and employment, assured that lawmakers are one with the workers in the television and film industry.

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TAGS: Bembol Roco, Entertainment, Ice Seguerra
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