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Calls for presence of professional medical personnel during taping gets renewed attention

  • Eddie Garcia’s accident brought about renewed calls on the presence of standby medics during taping

With the recent accident of Eddie Garcia on the set of GMA Network’s teledrama Rosang Agimat, concerns about standby medical professionals and vehicles were again brought to the surface.

Last Saturday, June 8, veteran actor Eddie Garcia figured in an accident that left him with a severe neck fracture. The actor is currently still in the ICU of the Makati Medical Center fighting for his life.

In the viral video posted by Jayvey Romero on Facebook, there were no readily available medical personnel and an ambulance that could be seen on the set to attend to Garcia after his accident. Bystanders and production staff were the only ones who took care of the veteran actor and brought him to the hospital.

After the incident, calls for professional medical personnel and an ambulance to be present on the set during taping have been renewed. It was not the first time that these calls were made because former Kapuso actors have also come out to bring attention to this issue.

In 2017, actress Janice de Belen took to Twitter to ask for mandatory medics on the set of their program.

This was after Gardo Versosa had an accident during the taping of AlDub series Destined To Be Yours. Verzosa had a very bad fall and slammed his head on the floor. Luckily he did not suffer a fracture.

Another incident that also happened on a GMA Network set was when Christopher De Leon was accidentally shot by a blank bullet in his groin area.

It was during the taping of Kapuso teledrama Kambal Karibal when he was hit by a blank bullet.

Boyet had to be confined three times because of that incident.

“In my career, I’m used to playing with guns but what happened was a first. It was an accident and nobody was to blame. I’m thankful to GMA for taking care of me and paying for my medical bills. I just hope it doesn’t happen again,” said Boyet during an interview with Ricky Lo.

“There should be a stand-by emergency team on the set composed of professionals talaga. You never know what could happen — somebody could suffer a heart attack or a heat stroke. There should also be a first-aid team. I’ve worked with the props men several times. But then, the props, not just the guns, should be double checked,” he added.

Work cut-offs

Aside from readily available medical personnel on the set, work cut-offs for the stars especially actors were also brought out after the Eddie Garcia incident.

Actress Aiko Melendez was vocal about this concern and asked for strict implementation of work cut-off for the actors.

In her Facebook post, Melendez said aside from legit medical personnel that should be on stand by during tapings, working hours and cut-offs should also be addressed most especially with aging actors and actresses.

“We should require movie sets, taping a standby medic. For emergencies. Legit ones. I know it will cost more, but for safety dba. And cut-offs tlga should be followed. I have a cut off na nasusunod naman sa Wildflower. So this goes to all the units na wala cut-offs. Our body needs to rest too. If machines need to be turned off at a certain time, so does our body,” said Aiko on her post.

The actress also added that having work cut-off is not “kaartehan” but a way of discipline for their body.

“Ang cut-offs ng mga artista di kaartehan or wala pakisama sa production. And tawag dyan discipline. Both parties. Madami ako kilala na lesser stars na di maka angal and as in one to sawa ang taping. Kaya lang kng mas bata bata ako fight ako dyan sa one to sawa. But automatically pag 12 ng gabi nag shut down utak ko,” she added.

The issue of work cut-offs is not new. It was also brought up by Robert Arevalo’s daughter in one of her Facebook posts.

In 2016, Anna Ylagan took to Facebook to vent her frustration regarding the work hours of her then 78-year-old father.

Veteran actor Robert Arevalo was part of GMA Network afternoon drama The Millionaire’s Wife at that time.

In her post, Ylagan said her father was made to work for more than 24 hrs (5 am – 9:30 am the next day) which way beyond decent working hours for a veteran actor.

The Millionaire's Wife Robert Arevalo's daughter Anna Ylagan on unfair working hours for Filipino actors

“My dad will be angry with me for posting this but he left for taping of his TV series yesterday at 5am. He came home at 9:30am today. Tell me, is that a decent & respectful way to treat a 78-year old veteran actor? Is it now a liability that my dad loves his craft that’s why he’s putting up with such practices? ‪#‎StopInhumanWorkingHours‬,” she said in her post.


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