Helping fellow entertainers ‘not a one-off thing’ for Imelda Papin
Life is short, Imelda Papin stressed, so she’s determined to make the most out of it by doing “positive deeds,” like looking after the welfare of her colleagues in the entertainment biz.
The seasoned singer, who heads the Actors Guild of the Philippines, recently inked an agreement with the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) for the medical coverage of some 1,500 members of the said organization, which includes actors, producers, stuntmen, bit players and other workers.
“I want to give back to my fellow artists. It wasn’t until I was elected president last year that I fully realized that not a lot of people in show biz are members of PhilHealth or have insurance. I want them to have security or something to depend on when the need arises,” she told the Inquirer at a press conference for the Valentine’s concert, “Timeless OPM.”
“And I will see to it that this is not just a one-off thing,” added Papin, who’s also considering forming an alliance that will take care of entertainers from other fields, like musicians, stage workers, magicians and acrobats.
Last year, the Actors Guild likewise entered a partnership with the Social Security System, dubbed “ArtistaSSSya,” for the compulsory coverage and remittance of contributions for self-employed workers in show biz. Papin related that the guild has been paying the initial contributions of over 200 active members, to encourage others to enroll, too.
“Securing SSS membership is a little harder, because there are a lot of requirements. But we’re doing our best to help everyone get on with it,” she pointed out.
The 61-year-old singer-turned-politician, who served as vice governor of Camarines Sur from 1998 to 2004, said the the guild’s next plan is to provide its members with scholarships from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. Producing indie films is another goal.
“I’m happy that I have a platform to serve… I’m the first female president of the guild, and it’s but natural that I want to show my nurturing side,” Papin said.
Papin likewise urged the big stars to extend a hand to their less fortunate colleagues in the industry.
Aside from her work with the guild, Papin remains active in the live-music scene. She will perform with fellow music pillars Claire dela Fuente, Rey Valera and Rico J. Puno in “Timeless OPM,” at Resorts World’s Newport Performing Arts Theater on Feb. 14 (call 8919999).
“Working with Rico, Rey and Claire is always a pleasure—we all have wonderful rapport. And we want to continue bringing back the OPM songs some of us grew up listening to,” said Papin, who popularized the classics “Bakit (Kung Liligaya Ka sa Piling ng Iba)” and “Isang Linggong Pag-ibig.”
“I will also perform Broadway songs and upbeat numbers,” she said. “Let’s face it, I’m the only one who can dance among us!”
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