Bill protecting rights of media members filed

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    CAMARINES Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte has filed a bill seeking to ensure that media members will receive all the benefits enjoyed by regular employees, including security of tenure, hazard and overtime pay and other benefits by regularizing their employment status.

    House Bill (HB) No. 7820 or the Media Workers’ Welfare Act prohibits media companies from refusing to regularize employees, particularly reporters, photographers and cameramen, who are sometimes paid on a per story basis.

    To ensure this, the bill provides that no media worker shall be dismissed 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,” HB 7820 said.

    Under the bill, 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 his or her case.

    A media worker shall be deemed a regular employee after six months of continuous employment, regardless of the nature of employment.

    Villafuerte also proposed the 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 or emergency.