Saturday, April 11, 2020
FDCP Starts Releasing P8,000 DEAR ACTION! and P5,000 DEAR PRESS! Aid for Freelance AV Content Workers
The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) has released more than P4.5 million from its reallocated funds through the Disaster/Emergency Assistance and Relief (DEAR) Program, providing financial support to freelance audio-visual (AV) content workers impacted by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis. As of April 6, 2020, more than 600 displaced freelance AV content industry members received the one-time tax-free DEAR financial support. Film and television workers covered by the DEAR ACTION! Program received P8,000 each and entertainment press members under the DEAR PRESS! Program were given P5,000 each.
FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño shared the good news of the ongoing disbursement of the DEAR financial assistance for the most vulnerable freelance AV content workers. “Ang DEAR Program ay tulong ng gobyerno para sa ating workers upang maibsan man lang ang hirap na pinagdadaanan nila. In this time of global crisis, it’s important to be one with the industry and help our own. Every gesture counts,” she said. “Thank you to everyone who has been supporting this initiative. Let us keep spreading the word out there as we are still accepting applications for our freelance workers who lost work during the COVID-19 pandemic. FDCP is here to help. Please do not hesitate to send your inquiries through our text hotline and e-mail. Our DEAR Agents are ready.”
Diño also gave updates on the changes in the application process. Firstly, there is no more cap on the income eligibility of DEAR ACTION! applicants. All eligible AV content workers can apply but FDCP reserves the right to prioritize low-income individuals who have a talent fee of P3,000 or below per day or a package rate of P20,000 or below per project. Secondly, the required number of suspended or cancelled work days was reduced from seven days to five (5) days—whether in pre-production, production, or post-production. Thirdly, AV companies such as productions and suppliers can now apply for DEAR ACTION! on behalf of freelancers whom they have engagements with.
The FDCP DEAR Program was launched on March 23 to help freelance AV content workers who suddenly lost work or became out of work because of a major natural disaster or public health emergency such as the COVID-19 crisis. The DEAR fund is only activated once the President of the Republic of the Philippines declares a state of calamity. In light of the COVID-19 situation, FDCP aims to assist 2,500 freelance AV content workers with a budget of P20 million coming from its limited funds. The release of the DEAR ACTION! and DEAR PRESS! financial aid began on March 27.
Eventually, FDCP hopes to help 50,000 disaster-affected AV freelancers from the content and live performance sectors across different fields: animation, new media, television, and film. The national film agency continues to seek additional support from the Office of the President and the upper and lower houses of Congress.