House passes bill to help media workers

Maridol Ranoa-Bismark - Philstar.com
House passes bill to help media workers
Partylist representative Rowena Nina Taduran
Photo release

MANILA, Philippines — Partylist representative Rowena Nina Taduran recently scored a major victory in her crusade for a more secure life for media workers.

The former broadcaster, who co-anchored Raffy Tulfo’s public service program "Wanted sa Radyo," announced that no one can shortchange media workers anymore after the House of Representatives unanimously approved her media workers bill.

The bill, which Taduran authored, requires owners of  private media organizations to pay workers wages mandated by law, give them SSS (Social Security System) benefits and others, overtime pay, and security of tenure by making them permanent employees after a six-month probation period.

Media workers assigned to dangerous, hazardous coverages will get an additional P500 daily pay. The media practitioner will also be entitled to death and disability benefits worth P200,000.

They must have bullet-proof vests, helmets and medical-grade personal protective gear during dangerous coverages.

Taduran came up with a salary matrix that prescribes how much media organizations should give workers.

She happily reported that Senate President Tito Sotto, in a Zoom meeting, promised to fully adopt the provisions of her bill.

“I myself experienced how it was to be jobless all of a sudden,” related Taduran.

She recalled how surprised she was upon finding out that her politically-oriented show in the `90s suddenly went off the air. Taduran’s heart goes out to fellow media workers back then who were at a loss about where to get money to pay for a child’s illness or an apartment rental. Most of them were studio talents who had no security of tenure.

She added that when her bill becomes a law, some media workers will no longer be beholden to government officials because they are desperate to survive. This, in turn, will minimize, if not banish media killings.

Taduran was a TV and radio broadcaster for 30 years before becoming an ACT-CIS (Anti-Crime and Terrorism Community Involvement) Party List representative.

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