- GMA Network may face administrative charges if found that it violated the Republic Act 11058 or the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Law that resulted in Eddie Garcia’s untimely death
- The network might be charged a ₱100,000 fine—apart from the daily fine—and a possible suspension of operations depending on the gravity of lapses
- Garcia’s stepson 1-PACMAN partylist Rep. Mikee Romero is set to file a bill called the “Eddie Garcia Law” in honor of his late stepfather that will require safety and medical procedures to be strictly implemented on production sets.
The investigations into the untimely demise of veteran actor Eddie Garcia are still ongoing.
It was on June 8, 2019, when Garcia met an accident on the set of Rosang Agimat in Tondo, Manila. At first, it was believed that he had a heart attack that caused him to collapse. Later, it was revealed that he suffered from a neck fracture after he tripped on a cable and fell to the ground face first. The actor was in a comatose state for almost two weeks before he died on June 20. By June 21, his body was cremated in accordance with his wishes.
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In a phone interview with CNN Philippines, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that the agency’s Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC) is currently reviewing the on-set injury that led to the untimely demise of Garcia. If there are possible lapses found, the OSHC can file administrative charges against GMA.
The network may face a monetary fine of ₱100,000 (separate from the daily fine) and possible suspension of operations.
“Under the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Law, kailangan merong [you need to have an] OSH officer in every establishment. You make the workplace safe and compliant with health standards,” Bello said.
Signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on August 17, 2018, the law requires the employers to strictly provide a safe and healthful workplace for workers, which includes having standby medics, especially for high-risk situations.
The lack of first-aid response and the way he was carried after the accident will also be inspected.
“Iinspeksyunin nila kung tama ‘yung pagkahawak kay Mr. Eddie Garcia. Kung merong safety and health officer, baka nabigyan ng tamang treatment when he had that accident,” the Cabinet official added.
According to Bello, the formal report may be completed by next week since it is still being prepared by OSHC.
In its most recent statement, GMA Network said that the absence of the medical team during the taping is being investigated.
“It has been the network’s practice to have medical personnel and ambulance crew on standby whenever the production is executing big action scenes during taping. This has been likewise the practice of other GMA programs.”
Because of the tragic fate Garcia met at the hands of GMA Network, many people expressed their anger with the network. They blame the network for Garcia’s passing because had there been any medics on the set, he could have lived longer or that kind of scenario could have been avoided.
Two celebrities who expressed their sentiments on social media were Judy Ann Santos and Sharon Cuneta. Through their social media accounts, they poured out their anger that the lack of safety measures on-set caused Garcia’s accident that eventually led to his death.
The picture above is the edited version of Cuneta’s post after her firs one gained negative comments from netizens for her harsh words.
At Garcia’s wake on Sunday, June 23, senator-elect Lito Lapid, who is also an action star, said that he will propose to review the safety standards to avoid this kind of incident in the near future.
“Pag-aaralan namin ‘yan at kakausapin natin, magkakaroon ng suggestion ang mga stuntman, mga direktor,” Lapid stated.
Garcia’s stepson 1-PACMAN party-list Rep. Mikee Romero is set to file a bill that will cater to the health and safety of actors while on set which he named in honor of his late stepfather, The Eddie Garcia Law. Also known as the Actors Occupational Safety and Health Standard Bill, it is a law that requires production to follow medical and safety procedures, have “safety officers” deployed during shoots, mandatory insurance for actors, and specific working hours for actors depending on their age. According to Romero, he will file the bill once the 18th Congress opens on July 22.
Garcia was cremated Friday, June 21 at dawn. The public was given the chance to view his urn until Sunday, June 23.