GMA Network disputes DOLE findings on Eddie Garcia case
MANILA, Philippines — GMA Network on Monday disagreed with the findings of the initial probe conducted by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) over the incident involving the late veteran actor Eddie Garcia.
The labor department, in its initial findings, said that broadcast network GMA violated work safety standards when Garcia figured in a fatal accident during a location shooting for a TV series in June.
DOLE National Capital Region Director Sarah Mirasol said that the network failed to assign on-site safety and first aid personnel, as well as submit an incident report within 24 hours.
But in a statement, GMA Network explained that the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Law “as worded, states that such a case of ‘work accidents resulting in disabling injury or death’ is an exception to the requirement that a report be made within 24 hours from the occurrence.”
“Nonetheless, GMA submitted the report within one (1) month from the accident which occurred last June 8, 2019,” the network added.
On the issue of having a safety officer in the workplace, the broadcast network argued that “it actually has a sufficient number of DOLE-certified safety officers catering to its employees.”
“The ‘workplace’ covered by the OSH Law is deemed to refer only to those places where services of the employees are regularly rendered,” GMA Network said.
“The IRR cannot expand the coverage of the law to include temporary, moving, or shifting locations. Extending said requirement of the law through the IRR to all temporary taping locations would unreasonably burden the industry with a requirement which is beyond the contemplation of the law,” it added.
The broadcast network assured that safety and security are maintained during its tapings, adding that safety officers, program’s officers, staffs and contractors are in coordination with barangay (village) officers where tapings are held for security and crowd control concerns.
First-aid responders were also present during the said taping, it added.
“Lastly, on designating first-aid responders, GMA validated that three production staff who have completed the Philippine Red Cross’ lecture demonstration on First Aid and Basic Life Support – CPR were present on the location site on the day of the accident,” GMA Network said.
“Despite the safety measures undertaken by GMA, it was determined that what happened was an unforeseeable accident,” it added.
Further, the broadcast network clarified reports that they refused to comply with the labor department’s order to provide the location of its teleseryes (television series).
“GMA, for its part, said that there was no refusal to provide the information. The locations and schedules were not submitted immediately because of their tentativeness and the fact that they are too numerous to remember from memory,” GMA Network said.
“These tapings are under the supervision of different officers and thus needed ample time to compile. However, a list of regular taping locations and schedules was submitted within the prescribed period,” it added.
GMA Network assured that it would continue to cooperate with DOLE in addressing the issue.
Garcia passed away last June 20 after he suffered from cervical spine fracture while filming for an upcoming teleserye./ac
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