The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and Department of Health (DOH) released the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) No. 2021-0001 on the Health and Safety Protocols for the Conduct of Film and Audiovisual Production Shoots and Audiovisual Activities During COVID-19 Pandemic to help productions manage COVID-19 in the workplace.

The JAO is a tripartite government issuance that sets the minimum public health and safety standards that production shoots must abide by to ensure that all film and audiovisual content workers are protected as operations resume during the pandemic. As line agencies that cover all sectors, DTI, DOLE and DOH served as a participating agency in providing context, inputs, and recommendations on the health and safety guidelines governing film and audiovisual production activities.



Scope and Coverage

Among the salient points of the DTI-DOLE-DOH JAO are as follows:

  1. Mass gatherings are prohibited, pursuant to DOH Administrative Order No. 2020-0015.
    • At any given point in time, only a maximum of 50 individuals shall be allowed to partake in public activities in low-risk areas, and as determined by its risk-severity rating, subject to at least 1-meter physical distancing.
    • However, individuals working on-site must not exceed a total of 100 per day.
  2. To monitor and manage Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) within the work environment including COVID-19 site protocols, there must be at least one OSH officer provided for each production venue.
  3. Workers must wear their personal protective equipment (PPE), to be provided by producers, such as surgical masks and face shields.
  4. Engineering controls must be employed: routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces and objects, and provision of handwashing stations, hand sanitizers, and footbath mats in all entrances.
  5. Interzonal movement for conducting audiovisual productions shall remain prohibited except when the localities have the same quarantine setup as it will be considered as movement within a single quarantine zone.
  6. Emergency Management: Producers must ensure that workers understand that any individual exhibiting flu-like symptoms such as fever, coughing, or chest congestion must immediately inform their production, subject themselves to self-quarantine, and inform their Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT) or Local Health Office.
  7. In accordance with the OSH Standards reportorial requirements, the producer shall furnish the DOLE Regional Office/s having jurisdiction over the shooting location the reports required by the host local government unit (LGU).
  8. Pursuant to DOLE Department Order 198, s. 2018, workers or their representatives may report accidents, dangerous occurrences, and hazards, especially possible violations of health and safety protocols, to DOLE Hotline 1349 or to the DOLE Office with jurisdiction over the work area.

The steps below set out how these Guidelines should be used in performing a risk assessment and preparing for your own COVID-19 Safe Filming Plan:

  1. Review the JAO Guidelines and Annexes.
  2. Assess the risks and hazards particular to your production activity.
  3. Prescribe the necessary mandatory control measures applicable to your production. The main guidelines in the JAO set out mandatory control measures applicable to all film and audiovisual productions as part of the COVID-Safe Filming Plan. The Annex part of the JAO prescribes a comprehensive set of health and safety protocols for the conduct of your film and audiovisual shoots. It is understood that the circumstances faced by each production are different. Producers and employers must select a set of controls that are appropriate to the unique characteristics of their particular production.
  4. Prepare your COVID-19 Safe Filming Plan for your production. Productions should consider what combination of those specific departmental controls and make sure that they are reasonably applicable for their production to implement based on the risk assessment the production has undertaken. Further, while these control measures are by no means exhaustive, individual productions may choose to go beyond these control measures.
  5. Begin your production.