PH live events industry to receive financial aid from govt amid COVID-19 pandemic

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 5) – Workers in the live events industry in the country are entitled to a financial assistance once the Bayanihan to Recover as One Bill or “Bayanihan 2” is passed into law, a group of Filipino live events industry workers said.

Writer and director Dennis Marasigan, member of the National Live Events Coalition PH, thanked the lawmakers for including their sector in those that will be given aid by the government.

“The Bayanihan 2 fund already has provisions for freelancers and a lot of the workers in the live events industry are freelancers so at least they will be able to get some assistance from the Bayanihan 2 package. There’s some assistance that is available also to small and medium scale industries also in the law,” Marasigan told CNN Philippines’ Rico Hizon on Friday.

Marasigan shared they are in talks with other government agencies to provide more financial aid to around 402,000 live events industry workers in the country. Among those government entities they are in negotiations with are the Department of Labor and Employment, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and Department of Trade and Industry.

“We’re fighting because the live events industry is really widespread,” added Marasigan.

Shakira Villa Symes, also a member of National Live Events Coalition PH, said that more than 40,000 businesses in the industry are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, some of which will not open anymore. The sector’s contribution to the national economy is pegged at around ₱221 billion, she added.

The Philippine live events industry is composed of theater and the performing arts, corporate shows, activations, concerts, fashion shows, music festivals, freelance production workers, and technical service providers.

“Sad to say, it was the first to close due to the pandemic and the last to restart,” Symes said.

Symes ensured they are minding the safety of the live events industry workers as they crafted protocols in multi-platform and virtual events, which account to 20 percent of the live events industry in the country that are keeping afloat amid the pandemic.

“The mindset has been we have to live with the virus around. We have to live with it. So we have to produce our shows in the safest way possible,” she said.