House okays Media Workers’ Welfare Act

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DAVAO CITY — With no one abstaining or voting against, 218 members of the House of Representatives approved on Monday, January 18, on third and final reading House Bill 8140 otherwise known as  “Media Workers’ Welfare Act” providing enhanced protection, security, and benefits for media workers.

The bill aims to “ensure that media workers shall, at the minimum, be paid the wages, allowances, and benefits provided by law to workers; motivate and encourage media workers to be truthful and responsible sharers of information, and promote an atmosphere that is conducive to a productive, free, and fruitful media work”.

As provided in the bill, media workers are entitled to receive the applicable minimum wage rate prescribed by the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board as well as overtime pay and night shift premium and other forms of compensation provided under the Labor Code of the Philippines and other related laws and issuances.

The bill also provides that “media workers shall be covered by the Social Security System, the Home Development Mutual Fund or the Pag-lBlG Fund, and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation upon employment”.

Media workers who are required to physically report for work in dangerous areas such as strife-torn or embattled areas, distressed or isolated stations, disease-infested areas, or in areas declared under a state of calamity or emergency for the duration thereof which expose them to great danger, contagion, radiation, volcanic activity or eruption, occupational risks or perils to life as determined by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), shall be compensated with a hazard pay in the minimum amount of P500 per day.

Media workers, as defined in the bill, refers “to those who are legitimately engaged in news media practice, directly or indirectly, whether as a principal occupation or not”. – Newsline.ph

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