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FDCP Reallocates P20M Fund, Expands DEAR ACTION! to Help More Freelance AV Content Workers

By FDCP — 08.04.2020

The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), in its new Advisory 1-A issued on April 3, 2020, has expanded the coverage of its DEAR ACTION! program to cater to more freelance audio-visual (AV) content workers who have been displaced by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis. The income cap on qualified applicants is lifted, the required number of suspended work days is lessened, and AV companies can now apply on behalf of their freelance workers.

DEAR ACTION! (For Displaced Freelance AV Workers) is the first initiative under the FDCP DEAR (Disaster/Emergency Assistance and Relief) Program. The DEAR was created to help freelance AV content workers who have suddenly lost work or became out of work because of a major natural disaster or public health emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The DEAR fund will only be activated once the President of the Republic of the Philippines declares a state of calamity.

Here are the details of the updates in the DEAR ACTION! application process:

  • DEAR ACTION! is for all displaced freelance AV content workers.

The DEAR ACTION! is now open to all eligible freelance AV content workers who have suddenly lost work or became out of work due to COVID-19, regardless of how much they make. However, FDCP reserves the right to prioritize low-income earners who have a talent fee of P3,000 or less per day or a package rate of P20,000 or less per project.

  • DEAR ACTION! applicants must have had five (5) days of suspended or cancelled work due to COVID-19.

With regards to the required number of suspended or cancelled work days, it is now reduced from seven days to five (5) days—whether pre-production, production, or post-production work. The five suspended or cancelled work days should fall within March 15 to April 14, 2020. FDCP has also given consideration by offering P5,000 to those who can only establish less than five days of lost work.

  • AV companies can apply for the DEAR ACTION! aid for their freelancers.

FDCP has allowed AV companies to apply for DEAR ACTION! on behalf of their freelance workers, provided that they meet all of the qualifications and requirements. A company applying for DEAR ACTION! must have a production or business that was suspended as a direct result of COVID-19. An extra step is the verification of the company’s legitimacy.

Since the launch of DEAR ACTION! on March 23, the FDCP National Registry has received more than 1,000 inquiries and has started processing applications. Over 900 film workers were added to FDCP’s database thanks to the Lockdown Cinema Club, which organized its own fundraising program to support low-income film workers. As of April 3, there are more than 500 approved DEAR ACTION! applicants who have started receiving their one-time tax-free benefit payment of P8,000. The release of the DEAR ACTION! financial assistance began on March 27.

“The DEAR Program is FDCP’s own quick response program. It is a disaster fund that was approved days after the Enhanced Community Quarantine was announced. Our Board of Trustees quickly approved a fund that will give financial assistance to our freelance workers because 70% of our workers have a ‘no work, no pay’ status and are paid on a per day or per project basis,” said FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño. She also clarified, “The Department of Labor and Employment’s CAMP (COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program) and FDCP’s DEAR are complementary programs for displaced workers of the AV industry. CAMP is for AV content industry employees under companies while DEAR is for freelancers.”

In light of the COVID-19 crisis, FDCP aims to assist 2,500 freelance AV content workers with a budget of P20 million coming from its limited funds. FDCP has also launched the DEAR PRESS! program that will give P5,000 to freelance entertainment press members affected by the COVID-19 situation. In time, as FDCP continues to seek additional support from the Office of the President and House of Representatives, the national film agency hopes to help 50,000 disaster-affected AV freelancers from the content and live performance sectors across different fields: film, television, animation, and new media.

For inquiries: 

DEAR hotline: 0917-8003227 (text only)

DEAR e-mail: dearnationalregistry@fdcp.ph

DEAR website: http://fdcp.ph/dear-program

Facebook page: http://facebook.com/FDCPNationalRegistry

DEAR ACTION! Program application guide for freelance AV content workers:

  1. Contact the FDCP National Registry, the implementing office of the DEAR Program, at dearnationalregistry@fdcp.ph or 0917-8003227.
  1. Prepare the following documents to prove the loss of engagement during the COVID-19 situation:
  1. Copy of current membership to the National Registry for Audio-Visual Workers (NRAW)
  • For non-members, the NRAW application may be filed together with the DEAR ACTION! application. In light of the COVID-19 situation, the NRAW processing fee is waived.
  1. Filled out DEAR ACTION! Application Form
  2. Affidavit of Unemployment
  • Template is downloadable at http://fdcp.ph/dear-program
  • No need to notarize for now but your signature must be affixed on the form. Notarized copy to follow after the quarantine.
  1. Copy of any proof of income
  • Latest income tax return (ITR)
  • Vouchers
  • Payslips
  • Issued OR (official receipt) to client or producer
  1. Any Proof of Engagement that accounts for at least five (5) days of cancelled or suspended work from March 15 to April 14, 2020
  • Call Sheet
  • Text messages
  • E-mails
  • Contract of Service
  • Certificate of Engagement
  • Any Certification signed by the employer or producer
  1. Any Proof of Cancellation within the period of March 15 to April 14, 2020
  • E-mails or text messages regarding suspension of work
  • Notice of cancellation
  • Any Certification signed by the employer or producer
  1. Submit the documents online to the FDCP National Registry at dearnationalregistry@fdcp.ph. Although hard copy applications are discouraged during the Enhanced Community Quarantine, there are DEAR Program drop boxes at the FDCP Office located at 855 T.M. Kalaw Street, Ermita, Manila.

DEAR ACTION! Program requirements for AV companies applying for their freelance workers:

  1. Copy of current membership to the National Registry for Companies (NRC)
  • For non-members, the NRC application may be filed together with the DEAR application.
  1. Filled out DEAR ACTION! For Companies Application Form
  2. Affidavit of Unemployment for workers applied for with at least an affixed signature
  1. Copy of any proof of income of workers applied for
  • Latest income tax return (ITR)
  • Vouchers
  • Payslips
  • Issued OR (official receipt) to client or producer
  1. Any Proof of Engagement of workers applied for that accounts for at least five (5) days of cancelled or suspended work from March 15 to April 14, 2020
  • Call Sheet
  • Contract of Service
  • Certificate of Engagement
  • Any Certification signed by the company owner or producer
  1. Any Proof of Cancellation of workers applied for within the period of March 15 to April 14, 2020
  • E-mails or text messages regarding suspension of work
  • Notice of cancellation
  • Any Certification signed by the company owner or producer

DEAR PRESS! Program requirements for freelance entertainment press workers:

  1. Filled out National Registry for Entertainment Press (NREP) and DEAR PRESS! Application Forms
  2. Any proof of income (income tax return, payslips, vouchers, etc.) or Press ID
  3. Certificate of Engagement from the publisher, editor, or media publication
  4. Copy or link of at least one most recently published article about Philippine Showbiz/Entertainment Industry (from January 2020 to March 2020) or any published article on a press event sponsored or supported by FDCP (from 2019 to 2020)This article was first published here.