THE House committee on labor and employment has approved the proposed law seeking to provide media workers full protection in the performance of their duties.
House Assistant Majority Leader and ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Niña Taduran, author of House Bill (HB) No. 2476 or the Media Workers Welfare Act, lauded her colleagues for the swift action on the bill that would empower the so-called Fourth Estate.
“I am thankful to the immense support of House committee on labor and employment chairman Eric Pineda, subcommittee chairman Democrito Mendoza [of TUCP party-list], Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez [of Leyte] and my co-authors at ACT-CIS, Congressman Eric Yap and Congresswoman Jocelyn Tulfo. Their prompt attention to the passage of this bill gives hope for all media workers,” Taduran said.
Taduran also noted the indefatigable support of (Presidential Communications Operations Office) PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar and Presidential Task Force on Media Security Undersecretary Joel Egco, both former mediamen, as well as Asst. Secretary Kris Ablan and Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) Chief Undersecretary Jing Paras.
“The Media Workers Welfare Act will professionalize the industry. It will institutionalize safeguards to the profession, which has long been abused by capitalists. Journalists, technical people and other media workers will be treated as professionals and not like interns who should be thankful that they are working in the media industry,” Taduran said.
Under the bill, all media workers will be given wages mandated by law, enjoy security of tenure, will be accorded the appropriate hazard and overtime pay plus insurance and other benefits.
“Kailangang matanggal na sa industriya ng media ang contractual services na walang katapusang nire-renew lang kahit matagal nang nagta-trabaho ang isang media worker, dahilan para hindi siya magkaroon ng mga benepisyong naaayon sa batas. Kailangan ding bigyan sila ng dagdag na bayad kapag naaatasang magtrabaho sa mga delikadong pangyayari. Kailangan ding may mga equipment na bibilhin ng kumpanya para masiguro ang kanilang kaligtasan, hindi ‘yung kanya-kanya ng bili o sariling gawa lang ang mga media workers para maprotektahan ang kanilang sarili,” Taduran a television and radio broadcaster before she joined the House of Representatives, said.
Under the bill, Taduran said 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.