FDCP, Robin Padilla oppose mandatory drug testing for actors

Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) Chairperson Tirso Cruz III called the mandatory drug testing for actors and showbiz performers
Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) Chairperson Tirso Cruz III called the mandatory drug testing for actors and showbiz performers "discriminatory." (Photo: Film Development Council of the Philippines/Facebook)

Senator Robin Padilla and Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) Chairperson Tirso Cruz III have come out against proposed mandatory testing for artists and other workers in the entertainment industry.

This comes after Surigao del Norte Second District Representative Ace Barbers proposed that actors and celebrities undergo mandatory drug testing before they could report to work, in light of actor Dominic Roco’s arrest, along with four others, in Quezon City in a buy-bust operation.

"Actors, actresses and other movie celebrities should all be drug-free because they are public figures that are being idolized by the public, particularly the Filipino youth. They would be setting bad examples if they would be involved in the use of drugs, or worse selling drugs," said Barbers.

However, while calling the fight against trafficking and use of illegal drugs "everyone’s concern", Cruz labeled Barbers' proposal "discriminatory."

"Worse, there is a strong move making producers shoulder the extra cost for all performers’ drug tests. This is outright unfair and burdensome coming from a pandemic that left so many of us out of work, and getting back on track remains a huge challenge," he added.

Meanwhile, Padilla said that while he advocates for the eradication of the negative effects of using illegal drugs, making tests mandatory for artists and showbiz performers would be "tantamount to violating their human rights."

"That said, I am for them taking a voluntary drug test as this is for their safety and wellbeing. It would also be best if the employers shouldered the expenses for such drug tests," he added.

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates. The views expressed are his own.