LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Rep. Eric Yap committed his all-out support to the immediate passage of the proposed media welfare and protection law to guarantee the safer practice of the media profession in the country.
Yap said that he will support the proposed bill of his fellow lawmakers from the Anti-Crime and Terrorism through Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) Party-list pushing for media welfare and protection because the media is important in providing the people with up to date information vital in their daily lives.
The lawmaker pointed out that it is high time that the proposed media welfare and protection law will be enacted for media personalities to be provided with the appropriate benefits and privileges in their work places so that they will be able to effectively and efficiently perform their duties and responsibilities as members of the 4th state.
Among the salient provisions of the proposed media welfare and protection law include security and benefits for media workers and mandatory insurance coverage and benefits for journalists, employees of media entities on field assignments and free-lance journalists.
Under the said bill, it will be the policy of the State to promote and improve the social and economic well-being of media workers, including their living and working conditions. Towards the said end, the State shall provide the necessary support to ensure that media workers are protected, secured and well compensated.
The proposed law aims to ensure that media workers shall, at minimum, be paid the wages, allowances, and benefits provided by law for 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.
The proposed law shall apply to all media workers and media entities in the private sector that are operating in the different parts of the country.
One of the provisions of the bills is that media workers shall not receive less than the applicable minimum wage rate prescribed by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) and shall be entitled overtime pay and night shift premiums as well as other forms for compensation provided by Presidential Decree (PD) No. 442 as amended, otherwise known as the “Labor Code of the Philippines,’ and other related laws and issuances.
Further, media workers shall be covered by the Social Security system (SSS), the Home development Mutual Fund or the Pag-Ibig Fund and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC) upon employment. The payment of monthly contributions shall be jointly shared by the media worker and the employer when applicable in accordance with existing laws and regulations.
Media workers shall also be entitled to retirement benefits as provided under Republic Act (RA) 11199 otherwise known as the Social Security Act of 2018.
At the same time, media workers 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 there from which expose them to great danger, contagion, radiations, volcanic activity or eruption, occupational risk 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 with no diminution, which shall be computed based on existing guidelines.