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Entertainment guilds complain about new FDCP filming guidelines

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THE Inter-Guild Alliance, a group representing the various entertainment guilds in the country, has denounced the newest guidelines for production released by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), calling out the council for “making moves detrimental to the industry’s welfare,” according to a statement posted online.

In particular, the alliance found it objectionable for the council to require production companies to register productions (film, TV, web, and other audiovisual content) seven days before shooting with the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) and FDCP, including “specific details of the planned production shoot including the people participating at the production site.”

The FDCP’s Advisory 06 was posted on June 27 on its website.

The requirement adds “additional and totally unnecessary layers of bureaucracy every production has to go through,” and they found it objectionable to disclose “confidential information that have absolutely no bearing on health and safety,” said the Inter-Guild Alliance in a statement posted on its Facebook page on July 1.

The alliance is composed of various groups from the film, television, and advertising industries in the Philippines. Its members include the Director’s Guild of the Philippines.

The alliance also decried the FDCP’s lack of consultation before publishing the advisory, and it called the council’s regulatory measures an overreach of its responsibilities.

“The FDCP is not a regulatory body. The FDCP is a developmental body,” the alliance said.

The FDCP was created by Republic Act 9167 in 2002. The council, under the Office of the President of the Philippines, is tasked to “promote and support the development and growth of the local film industry as a medium for the upliftment of aesthetic, cultural, and social values for better understanding and appreciation of the Filipino identity.” Its mandate includes encouraging the production of quality films and leading the film industry’s participation in local and foreign film markets and festivals.

But Malacañang said during a press briefing on July 2 that the guidelines set by the FDCP can be implemented because it’s “already registered with the National Administrative Registry of the UP Law Center” but that there will more discussions between the labor, trade and industry, health departments, and “various stakeholders in the film and TV industry.”

“We will see if there will be revisions of the guidelines,” Malacañang spokesperson Harry Roque said in the briefing.

The stakeholders included in the discussion are the Philippine Motion Picture Producers Association, the Inter-Guild Alliance, and the Directors Guild of the Philippines.

The Inter-Guild Alliance pointed out that it had already crafted a set of regulations in May which were certified by the DoLE and the Department of Health (DoH).

“Based on our meetings with DoH — and FDCP was present at these meetings — DoH said that as long as we meet the minimum health and safety guidelines set by DoH, we can follow our own safety protocol,” Patti Lapus, producer and spokesperson of the alliance, said at a roundtable discussion on July 1 streamed on the Facebook page of the Inter-Guild Alliance and Film Workers Unite.

Called the IGA PRO-Guide, the 39-page document outlines regulations on how to safely proceed with the production, from pre-production to post-production. The guidelines include limiting shoots to only 12 hours, having a health and safety officer on board, observing proper social distancing, and limiting the number of people on set.

The group said that the FDCP should listen to its constituents and Ms. Lapus said that while the FDCP claimed that it hosted several town hall meetings regarding the guidelines, none of the members of the alliance were present, therefore they were not consulted.

“We are really against any mandatory regulatory forms,” Paolo Villaluna, president of the Directors’ Guild of the Philippines, said in the Facebook roundtable.

As of this writing, the FDCP has not yet reacted to complaints on the published guidelines. — Zsarlene B. Chua





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