By JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL
Bureau Chief, Metro Manila News Bureau
MALACANANG PALACE, Manila: All Filipino media workers will enjoy full protection in the performance of their duties as the bill on the Media Workers’ Welfare nears final approval at the House Committee on Labor and Employment.
ACT-CIS Partylist Representative Niña Taduran, who sponsors House Bill No. 2476 with fellow Partylist Representatives 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,” says Taduran, a former broadcast media person of TV5.
“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,” adds Taduran.
The House Asst. Majority Leader says 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 coverages. Hindi na sila pasusugurin sa laban nang walang proteksyon,” says Taduran.
A Media Tripartite Council shall also be formed.
After passing the second reading at the House Sub-committee level, the bill will be submitted to the House Committee on Labor and Employment for final approval, then it will be sent to the plenary for the third and final reading.
Taduran expresses her gratitude to House Speaker Allan Peter Cayetano, Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, House Committee on Labor and Employment Chairman Eric Pineda and Subcommittee Chairman Democrito Mendoza for their immediate action on the bill for the protection of media workers.
The solon also noted the immense support of PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar and Presidential Task Force on Media Security Undersecretary Joel Sy Egco, both former mediamen, as well as Asst. Secretary Kris Ablan and Undersecrerary Jing Paras.
“Matagal nang nagtitiis ang maraming manggagawa sa media kaya panahon na upang maisabatas ang magbibigay ng proteksyon sa kanila,” ends Taduran. JIJ