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Eddie Garcia

THE Senate’s approval of the “Eddie Garcia Act” marks a significant step towards safeguarding the rights and welfare of workers in the movie and television industry.

Personalities from the entertainment sector, including Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera, witnessed this crucial milestone.

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada highlighted the enduring legacy of Eddie Garcia, emphasizing the historical impact even after his passing in 2019.

The bill, designed to protect industry workers, ensures opportunities for gainful employment, decent incomes, and safeguards against abuse, extended working hours, harassment, hazardous conditions, and economic exploitation.

Striking a balance, the legislation prescribes a standard eight-hour workday with flexibility up to a maximum of 14 hours or a total of 60 hours per week.

That addresses the industry’s unpredictable nature while prioritizing the well-being of its workforce.

Sen. Estrada’s commitment to preventing “karoshi” or death by overwork in the film and TV industry underscores the urgency for change.

The inclusion of provisions for social welfare benefits and insurance against work-related incidents or deaths adds a layer of security and protection for individuals in this dynamic field.

The passage of SB 2505 not only honors Eddie Garcia’s legacy but also paves the way for a more equitable and humane working environment in the entertainment industry.

It is crucial, therefore, that we also advocate for the passage and approval of the same act to ensure equal rights and protections for our poorer workers or broaden the law’s scope beyond industry workers, encompassing all sectors for comprehensive inclusivity that will contribute to a more just and equitable society for all.

Apollo Quiboloy

THE recent testimony during the Senate inquiry into the alleged abuses within the Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC) has brought forth disturbing claims, implicating former President Rodrigo Duterte and his daughter, Vice President Sara Duterte.

The witness, known as Alias “Rene,” recounted experiences of physical and sexual abuse while working as a landscaper at Glory Mountain, owned by KOJC leader Apollo Quiboloy.

Rene’s testimony revealed a harrowing narrative of exploitation, with allegations extending beyond mistreatment to include the provision of “bags of guns” to former President Duterte and Vice President Sara Duterte.

The disclosure raises serious concerns about the potential misuse of influence and connections.

The allegations also shed light on the KOJC’s questionable practices, such as offering a “fake scholarship” and subjecting its members to forced begging for alms.

The intricate web of abuse described by Rene, from physical violence to sexual harassment, paints a disturbing picture of the organization’s internal workings.

Moreover, the claim that employees of the media organization SMNI, affiliated with KOJC, were not receiving regular salaries but instead a weekly “honorarium” has raised legal eyebrows.

The Department of Labor and Employment Undersecretary and Senior State Counsel both emphasized the illegality of such practices, classifying them as potential human trafficking and labor exploitation.

As the Senate investigates these allegations, it becomes crucial to scrutinize whether current human trafficking laws are adequate to address large-scale and systemic abuses within religious organizations.

Senator Risa Hontiveros’ initiative to delve into the matter aims to determine the effectiveness of existing legislation in tackling such issues.

While Quiboloy has chosen not to submit himself to the Senate investigation, the allegations against him underscore the urgency of ensuring accountability and justice.

As the inquiry unfolds, it will be essential to assess the legal implications and potential ramifications for all parties involved, considering the gravity of the accusations against the KOJC leader.


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