FILMING GUIDELINES DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
With more than a year down since the community quarantine has been imposed, film production companies have constantly faced the hurdles brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic that has gripped the nation. More and more film companies have learned to operate with limited capacities and numbers, as well as to adapt to the varying levels of quarantine mandated by the government. With new COVID variants constantly looming over us, it might still be a long way for us to go back to the normalcy that we were once familiar with, but it doesn’t mean that we cannot make the most out of the situation we have at the moment.
What you should know about filming in the Philippines during the pandemic
In compliance with the recent implementation of alert level systems within the National Capital Region by the IATF, only a maximum of fifty (50) persons are allowed on-site for film and audiovisual shoots at all levels, effective September 16, 2021.
Aside from the limited on-site capacity, here are other important regulations that production companies must follow while filming during the pandemic:
- Curfew in Metro Manila will be in effect from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., effective September 16, 2021, subject to change based on updated IATF guidelines.
- All production companies are expected to comply with the provisions of the DTI-DOLE-DOH JAO at all times.
- Alternative structures and work arrangements shall be provided, particularly for prep works, pre-production meetings, and technical meetings, as well as for workers under the vulnerable groups: those below 21 years old, workers above 60 years old, persons with co-morbidities, and women with high-risk pregnancies.
- For tasks that require on-site participation, proper physical distancing (even during break times) must be observed at all times.
- Producers and employers must provide adequate facilities and amenities to ensure the comfort and safety of all employees (i.e: clean hygiene stations and washrooms, well-ventilated working areas).
- The use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must be observed wherever needed.
- All workers shall bear the responsibility to report suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the workplace.
- All workers are expected to give a heads up should they experience symptoms related to COVID-19. Similarly, all workers shall have the right to refuse work if they reasonably believe that their wellness is at risk.
- All workers shall be properly trained in handling potential safety and occupational hazards.
- Productions must adhere to the protocols and quarantine regulations of the concerned LGUs.
- Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Officers must be present in the workplace at all times.
Working Hand in Hand
Despite the challenges, production companies shall ensure that the welfare of everyone involved in their projects must come first. And while the “new normal” has brought about some hurdles, it has also opened the doors for producers, employers, and employees to improve collaborations and work hand in hand to ensure the success of the projects given the setbacks. If anything, the pandemic has reignited the passion in the hearts of those in the filmmaking industry and has sparked the burning desire to keep the art afloat despite the rough situation we are currently facing.