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House body okays media protection bill

A House panel has approved a measure that seeks to protect media workers in the performance of their duties.

Principal author ACT-CIS Rep. Nina Taduran expressed gratitude to the House committee on labor and employment for the consideration of House Bill 2476 or the Media Workers Welfare Act.

Taduran also thanked Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and House Majority Leader and chairman of the House rules committee Rep. Martin Romualdez for giving importance to the measure.

“Wala nang reporter na magko-cover ng bagyo na garbage bag lang ang suot para maprotektahan ang sarili. Media workers will enjoy full protection in the performance of their jobs,” Taduran said.

Another author of the bill is Chairman of the House appropriations committee ACTS-CIS Rep. Eric Go Yap.

The authors said that the Media Workers Welfare Bill will be a game changer in the continued professionalization of the media industry.

Empowering and protecting the members of the Fourth Estate will greatly improve the delivery of truth and information.

“I am very grateful to my colleagues in Congress especially to the Chairman of the House Committee on Labor and Employment, Congressman Eric Pineda and Subcommittee Chairman, Representative Democrito Mendoza, House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, Majority Leader Martin Romualdez and my co-authors at ACT-CIS, Congressman Eric Yap and Congresswoman Jocelyn Tulfo. Their immediate action for the passage of this bill gives media workers so much hope,” Taduran said.

Under the bill, all media workers will be given wages mandated by law, enjoy security of tenure, receive appropriate hazard and overtime pay plus insurance and other benefits.

All media workers who are assigned to cover dangerous and hazardous events or situations shall be given an additional ₱500 daily pay. Death and disability benefits amounting to ₱200,000 shall also be awarded to the affected media worker.

They will be provided with bullet-proof vests and helmets and medical grade personal protective equipment during hazardous coverages.

The bill is up for plenary discussion and eventually final approval.