MORE than 200 congressmen voted in favor of the passage of the proposed Media Workers Welfare Act, a bill that seeks to provide additional benefits and protection for media workers, in the House of Representatives.

ACT-CIA Party-list Rep. Niña Taduran proposed bill aims to ensure that media workers shall, at the minimum, be paid the wages, allowances, and benefits provided by law to workers.

Media workers shall be covered by the Social Security System, the Home Development Mutual Fund or the Pag-Ibig Fund, and the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. upon employment.

Employers shall provide additional insurance coverage to media workers, including the death benefit of P200,000, disability benefit of P200,000, and medical insurance benefit of P100,000.

"We welcome the passage of the Media Workers Welfare Bill on its third and final reading at the House of Representatives, as this brings us a step closer to realizing a law that provides protection and additional benefits for members of the media," Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a statement.

The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) sees the House of Representatives passage of this bill as a positive development, our office being among those who have been pushing for its swift passage. Through this bill, media workers will be covered by enhanced protection, security, and benefits. It will also guarantee media workers security of tenure after the probationary work period of six months of continuous service.

"Our continued endeavor to help push for the bill's passage is another testament to the Duterte administration’s desire to protect and uphold the rights, welfare, and safety of media workers," Andanar added.

The proposed bill also guarantees security of tenure to media workers after the probationary work period of six months of continuous work.

The Department of Labor and Employment shall be mandated as the agency in charge of monitoring compliance with the provisions of the proposed law.

A News Media Tripartite Council that shall serve as a link among stakeholders, provide a platform where media workers and employers can agree upon mutually beneficial policies that will promote the interests of the media industry, and serve as an avenue to express their aspirations, discuss their programs, or settle conflicts. (MVG)