FDCP chair: Bayanihan 2.0 bill includes support for film and audio-visual industry

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 4) – Film and audio-visual industry workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are included in sectors that will receive financial support from the government under the latest draft of the Bayanihan 2.0 bill.

Film Development Council of the Philippines chairperson Liza Diño said they will need around P15 billion to support 760 thousand workers in the industry.

Diño said on Wednesday they submitted to various lawmakers position papers seeking assistance to these workers as Congress deliberates on economic stimulus bills that will chart the country’s economic growth amid the COVID-19 crisis.

“We were happy to see the words film and audiovisual workers on the latest draft of the Bayanihan 2 bill,” Diño told CNN Philippines' Rico Hizon.

Diño emphasized the need for support in the film and audio-visual sector because television shows and movies have become the source of entertainment of the people during the quarantine caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This quarantine period, we were able to cope with this pandemic because we have been entertained with all of the teleseryes we’ve seen, the movies we’ve seen, on the different platforms. So I hope this time around, it’s our turn to ask for help and hopefully be supported with our situation right now,” she noted.

Diño also said that most of these affected workers are freelancers, who work under a “no work, no pay” scheme.

The FDCP chairperson noted that to implement a wage subsidy program for all workers in the industry, they will need about ₱15 billion which they will distribute in two tranches of cash aid for two months.

The FDCP previously allotted ₱20 million for the initial financial assistance to affected workers.

“If you’re going to talk about the wage subsidy that’s going to be allotted for two months for each of the workers. I hope the Congress will give us the budget,” added Diño.

She hopes the legislators will give them the budget. If not, they will be forced to use their own funds in assisting film and audio-visual industry workers.

“We can expand the support program that we have called “Dear Program” if we’ll be able to retain the money that was taken from us. But that’s still not enough because you’re only talking about 78 million pesos,” Diño explained.

Film and television shoots are now permitted under the general community quarantine setting, given that the staff will observe minimum health standards.

The FDCP released last month its guidelines on doing film and television productions.

READ: FDCP releases guidelines for production shoots under "new normal"

Diño added they are drafting an administrative order with other government agencies to formally issue health and safety protocols for all their stakeholders.