Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Ray Villafuerte is batting for the enactment of a law that will provide workers in the media industry with security of tenure, hazard and overtime pay, and other benefits being enjoyed by regular employees.
Villafuerte filed House Bill No. 7820 or the proposed Media Workers’ Welfare Act that aims to guarantee the rights of media workers to self-organization, and to create a safe, protected atmosphere conducive to their “productive, free and fruitful work.”
“Media workers risk their own lives being exposed to the perils and hazards outdoor just so we can receive our needed information. 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,” he said.
“Hence, this measure seeks to ensure that media workers shall be provided with comprehensive benefits package at par with the current benefits enjoyed by those in the labor force both in government and the private sector,” he added.
Under HB 7820, media workers in entry-level positions shall receive the minimum monthly compensation determined by the National Wages and Productivity Commission or the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards depending on which applies in one’s case.
A media worker shall be deemed a regular employee after six months of continuous employment, regardless of the nature of employment.
The lawmaker’s bill also guarantees that no one shall be dismissed from one’s employment without just or authorized cause and without procedural due process.
“The computation of employment time shall be cumulative in cases where the employee is repeatedly engaged for shorter periods by the employer to avoid regularization,” the measure read.
Villafuerte wants a grant of hazard pay of at least P500 per day to media workers assigned to dangerous areas, such as strife-torn or embattled zones, distressed or isolated stations, disease-infested areas or in areas declared under state of calamity of emergency.