GMA Network responds to DOLE’s investigation into the Eddie Garcia incident

September 20, 2019

GMA Network filed its Comment today on the preliminary findings of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in the investigation on the incident involving the late Mr. Eddie Garcia.

Prior to the formal hearing, DOLE-National Capital Region Regional Director Sarah Buena Mirasol stated that GMA allegedly committed three violations under the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Law: failure to submit an incident report within 24 hours, to employ or designate a safety officer, and to employ or designate a certified First Aider.

GMA, in its Comment, explained that after completing its thorough internal investigation, the Network initially gave a copy of the results to the family of Mr. Garcia as a matter of respect and thereafter voluntarily submitted a copy to the DOLE on July 5, 2019 in compliance with the law and its IRR. Regarding the first finding, GMA noted that the IRR, as worded, states that such a case of “work accidents resulting in disabling injury or death” is an exception to the requirement that a report be made within 24 hours from the occurrence. Nonetheless, GMA submitted the report within one (1) month from the accident which occurred last June 8, 2019.

Secondly, on having a designated safety officer in the workplace, GMA confirms that it actually has sufficient number of DOLE-certified safety officers catering to its employees. The “workplace” covered by the OSH Law is deemed to refer only to those places where services of the employees are regularly rendered. The IRR cannot expand the coverage of the law to include temporary, moving, or shifting locations. Extending said requirement of the law through the IRR to all temporary taping locations would unreasonably burden the industry with a requirement which is beyond the contemplation of the law.

GMA maintains safety and security in tapings through extensive discussions among its safety officers, the program’s officers, and staff and its contractors in coordination with Barangay officials having jurisdiction over the locations for security, traffic and crowd control matters.

Lastly, on designating first aid responders, GMA validated that three production staff who have completed the Philippine Red Cross' lecture demonstration on First Aid and Basic Life Support – CPR were present on the location site on the day of the accident. Despite the safety measures undertaken by GMA, it was determined that what happened was an unforeseeable accident.

Moreover, in an article published in The Philippine Daily Inquirer on September 7, 2019, it was mentioned that GMA Network refused to comply with DOLE’s directive to provide a list of the locations of all its teleseryes, which shall be subject to inspection by its representatives. GMA, for its part, said that there was no refusal to provide the information.  The locations and schedules were not submitted immediately because of their tentativeness and the fact that they are too numerous to remember from memory. These tapings are under the supervision of different officers and thus needed ample time to compile. However, a list of regular taping locations and schedules was submitted within the prescribed period.

The Kapuso Network assures that it will continue to cooperate with the DOLE on this matter.