865,000 entertainment, audio-visual industry workers displaced by COVID-19 pandemic

865,000 entertainment, audio-visual industry workers displaced by COVID-19 pandemic

MANILA, Philippines — Some 865,000 workers in the audiovisual industry have been displaced by the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in the country.

Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) chairperson Liza Diño revealed this on Friday during the joint hearing of the Senate committees on finance and economic affairs.

Since the sector involves mass gatherings such as the operations of cinemas and concerts, its operations were the first to be canceled due to the outbreak of the disease, and it will be the last to recover, Diño said.

She pointed out that a recent survey by the Department of Finance showed that the arts, entertainment, and recreation topped the list of the hardest- hit sectors due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Since 70% to 80% of the industry are freelancers, Diño added that they would need at least six months worth of cash assistance.

“We were the first to be cancelled and we are going to be the last also to recover kasi it constitutes mass gathering yung amin pong industriya,” she said.

The FDCP has already reallocated P20 million of its funds to extend financial assistance of from P5,000 to P8,000 to freelancers affected by the pandemic.

Diño, however, said the agency would still need more funds to release a second wave of cash aid.

“Ang laki ng audiovisual industry at dahil hindi kami nahahagip sa census ng PSA statistics, minsan ay nakakalimutan ‘yung pinagdadaanan at kalagayan ng mga nasa industriyang ito,” she added.

(The industry is very big and we are sometimes not included in the census of PSA statistics. Sometimes we are overlooked.)

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