Filipino media workers will enjoy full protection in the performance of their duties under the Media Workers’ Welfare bill which is nearing approval at the House committee on labor and employment.
House Assistant Majority Leader and ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Niña Taduran, who sponsors House Bill (HB) No. 2476 with fellow party-list Reps. Eric Yap and Jocelyn Tulfo, believes that this will empower the fourth estate.
“It’s a fact that there are still media workers who are underpaid and unprotected. Binabarya-barya lang ng mga pinagta-trabahuhan nila. It’s a cruel and thankless job but media workers keep on doing their best because of the desire to inform and entertain,” said Taduran, a former broadcaster.
“The Media Workers Welfare Act will be a game changer. All media workers will be accorded wages mandated by law, enjoy security of tenure, will be given hazard and overtime pay, insurance and other benefits,” Taduran added.
Taduran said that under the bill, 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 should also be provided with bullet proof vests and helmets and medical grade personal protective equipment during hazardous coverage. Hindi na sila pasusugurin sa laban nang walang proteksyon,” Taduran explained.
A Media Tripartite Council shall also be formed.
After passing the sub-committee level, the bill will be submitted to the House committee on labor and employment for its approval and later will be sent to the plenary for the third and final reading.
Taduran expressed her gratitude to Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, House committee on labor and employment chairman and 1-Pacman party-list Rep. Eric Pineda and sub-committee chairman and Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) party-list Rep. Democrito Mendoza for their immediate action on the bill for the protection of media workers.
The lady lawmaker also noted the immense support of Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Sec. Martin Andanar and Presidential Task Force on Media Security Undersecretary Joel Egco, both former mediamen, as well as Assistant Sec. Kris Ablan and Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) chief Jing Paras.
“Matagal nang nagtitiis ang maraming manggagawa sa media kaya panahon na upang maisabatas ang magbibigay ng proteksyon sa kanila,” Taduran ended.