A LAWMAKER on Wednesday pushed the passage of a bill seeking to protect media workers from abuse by their employers.  

In a statement, Party-list Rep. Rowena Niña O. Taduran cited the need to pass the proposed Media Workers’ Welfare Act as more media workers remain unprotected especially during a coronavirus pandemic.  

She said many journalists got fired during the pandemic. “There were employers who fired them or lowered their wages, using the pandemic as an excuse. There are those who have to work without contracts and benefits because there is no law that protects them.” 

The House of Representatives has passed House Bill 8140 on third reading, while a counterpart Senate bill is pending on second reading. Congress only has a few days left before it adjourns on June 3. 

Ms. Taduran said it is not enough that the government has been extending support to media workers by following up cases of violence against them. “They don’t even have insurance to protect their lives and health.”  

Under the bill, media workers must get wages not less than minimum standards. The normal hours of work cannot exceed eight hours unless it’s really necessary. Journalists will be entitled to overtime pay and night shift differential pay. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan