Mar 14
FOR A WORKER-FRIENDLY FILM & ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY by webmaster  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Wed, Mar 14, 2007

By Leo G. Martinez
Director General, Film Academy of the Philippines

(Third of four parts)

Worker-friendly in the sense that it protects the workers from unfair competition and unfair working conditions

[] Agreements on working hours, accommodations and quality of meals

A memorandum of agreement between the FAP and the production companies and houses should be implemented which defines the number of working hours per day’s work in shootings and tapings, the acceptable talents fees and professional fees for overtime work, respectable accommodations and the quality of meals particularly for the workers, and the immediate payment of fees due them. It should also stipulate measures for the safety and protection of cast and crew, especially stuntmen, and a mechanism that will assure workers that their complaints will be heard and acted on. The working conditions must be professionalized.

Worker-friendly in the sense that it provides for the workers’ basic needs

[] Bahay Kalinga: housing and community building for film workers

Most of the film workers earn only when there are projects available. When the work atmosphere is thin, they suffer for lack of income. Most of them are not even owners of their own houses. A project can be entered into that will provide housing for film workers for the next three years, with 150 beneficiary families per year. A P3M fund support from each actor-senators could help start this project.

[] Activation of cooperatives for income sustenance

Organizing cooperatives among the workers could provide them additional income even as they earn from their regular work. Workers can organize themselves into a group that will produce films with them providing all the creative and technical work. Everybody earns after the project since they are themselves the producer. Cooperatives can also be not related to their filmmaking skills as in sales and services.

Worker-friendly in the sense that it protects the local workers’ jobs and creates opportunities for work for them in foreign productions

[] Agreement with the Bureau of Immigration (BOI) to refer incoming foreign film productions to the Film Academy of the Philippines

There is an existing Memorandum of Agreement between the Film Academy of the Philippines and the Bureau of Immigration which stipulates that incoming foreign production groups intending to shoot films in the country must first secure a Letter of Endorsement and a Certificate of Compliance from the FAP before they can apply for Special Working Permits with the BI. This means that foreign production groups must first coordinate their plans with FAP, submit the list of cast and crew seeking working permits and pay a corresponding fee for the actors and creative and technical persons that they are bringing in. The fees they are paying will compensate for the local actors and creative and technical persons that they will be dislodging by bringing their own.

Upon issuance of the Letter of Endorsement and Certificate of Compliance, only then will BI process the group’s request for Special Working Permits.

[] One-Stop-Shop concept with FAP coordinating and guaranteeing
the completion of cast and crew of incoming foreign productions

Corollary to the FAP-BI agreement, the FAP can also offer and actually assemble for incoming foreign production groups local talents and crew they may need while shooting in the country based on their requirements. This means that any foreign group seeking local workers and talents will need to approach only one organization to provide the service. On the other hand, FAP can ensure quality work for the foreign group while making sure that job opportunities can be secured for the local film workers.

(Continued next week)