OSHC mulls work safety standards for broadcast industry

MANILA � The Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC) is planning to come up with a work safety standard solely for the broadcast industry.

OSHC Executive Director Noel Binag said they will be meeting with the Broadcast Industry Tripartite Council to discuss issues and concerns specific to the entertainment, television, and radio industry.

"The aim is to come up with a more refined version of the OSH law for the broadcast industry. But it is still a work in progress," he said in an interview on Tuesday.

The OSHC official added that such guidelines are needed, noting the hazard level of the job in the said industry.

"It has psychosocial hazard because you are always on the go. You work 24/7at times. Day and night, you are on call. They are assigned to a very hazardous place sometimes. So I consider the broadcast industry as highly hazardous activity," Binag said.

On the other hand, he noted that the initiative is already in the works even prior to the untimely death of veteran actor Eddie Garcia after sustaining an injury while filming a television series.

"This was not triggered by anything. (This was conceptualized) a few months back," Binag said.

Garcia, 90, was in a coma for nearly two weeks before he passed away on June 20.

The OSHC is an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

On the other hand, the TUCP Party-list expressed concern over the working conditions of talents and crews in the media and entertainment industry, given that there is an existing Occupational Safety and Health Law, as well as a DOLE issuance on occupational health and safety for the media and entertainment industry.

"We are shocked and angered that such a thing can happen to someone of the stature of Mr. Eddie Garcia, but even more so it exposes how ordinary talents and ordinary workers in the entertainment industry are made vulnerable to the failure of management to comply with this occupational safety and health rules," said TUCP Rep. Raymond Mendoza in a statement.

"The safety of Filipino workers is a primary requirement that all employers should provide for, regardless of the industry or the workplace, he added.

Meanwhile, the group pushed for the passage into law of the proposed Eddie Garcia Bill," the Actors Occupational Safety and Health Standard Bill, sponsored by Rep. Mikee Romero of 1-PACMAN Party-list.

The bill seeks to oblige production companies to grant mandatory insurance for actors, provide for working hours in TV and movie production, establish medical and safety protocols, as well as emergency procedures.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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