A measure providing workers in the media industry security of tenure, hazard and overtime pay, mandatory additional insurance coverage plus other job-related benefits enjoyed by regular employees in both the government and private sector has been filed at the House of Representatives.
According to a statement on Wednesday, Camarines Sur Representatives Luis Raymund Villafuerte, Tsuyoshi Anthony Horibata, and Miguel Luis Villafuerte, and Bicol Saro Party-list Rep. Nicolas Enciso VIII filed House Bill No. 304, or the proposed “Media Workers’ Welfare Act”, which aims to guarantee the rights of media workers to self-organization and additional economic benefits due them in their profession.
The lawmakers said the bill also seeks to create “a safe, protected atmosphere conducive to their productive, free and fruitful work, as they highlighted that media workers risk their own lives “being exposed to the perils and hazards outdoor” just to provide the needed information to the public.
“It is unfortunate that the very same people behind it are usually the ones whose labor rights are ignored, such as those pertaining to security of tenure, hazard pay, night shift differential pay and overtime pay, among others,” they said.
Under the bill, media workers in entry-level positions shall receive the minimum monthly compensation determined by the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) or the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs), depending on which applies in each case.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) shall be mandated to initiate the creation of a proposed News Media Tripartite Council, which may change or increase the amount of minimum hazard pay for media workers.
This Council will serve as “a link among various stakeholders, and provide the industry with a platform for both media workers and entities in crafting policy decisions that will affect them and the industry as a whole,” the lawmakers noted.
The bill seeks the grant of hazard pay of at least PHP500 per day to media workers assigned to dangerous areas, such as strife-torn or embattled zones, contagion, radiation, volcanic eruption, distressed or isolated stations, disease-infested areas or in those declared under a state of calamity or emergency, and other occupational risks or perils to life as determined by the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFOMS), in consultation with the DOLE. (PNA)