For so many years there has been an entrenched culture in the film industry where substandard working conditions have become a norm. Audio-visual Production workers have been working on set or location and in projects sometimes without the full benefit of certain provisions in the workplace that affect safety and well-being.
The Department of Labor and Environment (DOLE) recognizes the peculiarities and nuances of work in the audio-visual industry. It also believes that a workplace policy is a key to address the different issues confronting the industry such as long hours of work, remuneration, and occupational safety and health.
It is with this backdrop that the DOLE and the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), through Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III and Chair Liza Dino, took the initiative to forge a Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) for the audio-visual industry.
On February 7, 2020, DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III and FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño joined forces to formalize FDCP-DOLE JOINT MEMORANDUM CIRCULAR 001 S.2020 on the guidelines governing the working conditions and occupational safety and health of workers in the audiovisual production.
The JMC ensures that the rights of every worker, regardless of employment status, are observed by the production people they work with. The JMC requires all workplaces in the audio-visual industry to implement a policy and a program for their workers that incorporates standards and principles on human rights.
The issuance of this guideline is seen to benefit thousands of workers in the industry. It is likewise seen that this will bring a change in their culture of working for long hours and adherence to safety and health requirements of the DOLE. Aside from ensuring compliance to labor standards across all sectors in the industry, the proposed JMC also promotes access to social protection as well as decent work for all types of employment.
OSH LAW (RA11058)
Republic Act No. 11058 otherwise known as the Act Strengthening Compliance with Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Standards and providing penalties for violations was enacted for the State to ensure a safe and healthful workplace for all working people by affording them full protection against all hazards in their working environment. This is the basis of the FDCP-DOLE JMC 001 s.2020.
Under the OSH LAW, Filipino workers are given better protection in the workplace. This law ensures safer workplaces by requiring employers to provide complete safe work procedures, information dissemination about work-related hazards, safety and health training, and protective equipment.
The Film and Audiovisual Industry is a unique business. It can also present unique and unusual occupational health and safety hazards to its workers.
These Production Guidelines recommend realistic procedures to develop methods for identifying potential hazards in our work environments, in order to increase our productivity and to protect those working in the film and audiovisual industry. Safe procedures do not involve losing the appearance of risk that can be such a vital quality of the production.
These Guidelines are intended to assist people involved in the industry and not replace the laws that are in place. To determine their legal workplace duties and rights, employers/producers, supervisors and working professionals are urged to refer to the actual legislation.
These Guidelines will be continually updated and augmented, to deal with the changes in the film and television field as they occur.
The OSH Law has a matrix indicating the administrative fines that may be imposed for willful non-compliance of said law and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) under DOLE Department Order No. 198, S. 2018.
Pursuant to DO No. 198, the DOLE Secretary and his representatives (through the Bureau of Working Conditions) is empowered to conduct spot audits and can enter workplaces (which include production sites) at any time of the day or night where work is being performed to examine records and investigate facts, conditions or matters necessary to determine compliance with OSH rules and regulations, and in the case of the Safe Filming, to the FDCP-DOLE Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC). DOLE may order a stoppage of work or suspension of operations of any unit or department when non-compliance poses grave and imminent danger to the safety and health of workers in the workplace.