Four lawmakers want the 19th Congress to accord 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.
In House Bill (HB) No. 304, Camarines Sur Rep. Lray Villafuerte, along with CamSur Reps. Miguel Luis Villafuerte and Tsuyoshi Anthony Horibata, and Bicol Saro Rep. Nicolas Enciso VIII have proposed the “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; 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,” Villafuerte and his co-authors said in HB 304.
“Hence,” they added, HB 304 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 in both Government and the private sector. It seeks to create a safe and protected atmosphere conducive to a productive, free and fruitful media work, as well as to guarantee the right of workers to self-organization.”
Villafuerte filed a similar bill in the past Congress.
Under HB 304, 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.
A News Media Tripartite Council being proposed in the bill may change or increase the minimum hazard pay.