Workers in movie and television outfits can now look forward to a more caring and welfare-focused employment condition as Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis Baldoz issued yesterday an advisory that regulates the industry’s working hours and provides strict adherence to other labor and occupational safety and health standards.
Heeding the appeal of officers and representatives of film and TV industry labor force, Baldoz issued DOLE Labor Advisory No. 04 series of 2016 which provides, among others, that the actual work hours of movie and TV industry workers or talents shall not exceed eight hours a day. “If they are required to work beyond eight hours, the maximum actual hours of work shall not exceed 12 hours in any 24-hour period,” the Secretary said.
Baldoz said compliance to lawful working hours would safeguard the health and well-being of the workers. She also allayed the apprehensions that putting a cap to working hours would affect production output. “Organizations must uphold the best interest of their human resources. Even machines need rest. If we ensure that our employees are in top shape, then we can expect also their optimum work performance and efficient work output,” Baldoz added.
The labor chief said the provisions of occupational safety and health standards must also be strictly observed in movie and TV industry to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for all workers or talents.
The advisory likewise sets the normal hours of work of elderly workers, or those aged 60 years and above, which shall not exceed eight hours in a day. The employment of children, on the other hand, shall be governed by the provisions of Republic Act No. 9231, which provides for the elimination of the worst forms of child labor and affording stronger protection for the working child.
Baldoz said adequate transportation facilities to and from the location or set must be also provided to the workers. “If no transportation is provided to the worker, any costs incurred by the worker shall be reimbursed by the network, company, or outfit,” the Secretary said.
Movie and TV workers must also be also covered by Pag-IBIG, PhilHealth, SSS, Employees’ Compensation Program and other laws. “Their pay and related benefits, regardless of the nature of engagement, shall not be lower than the minimum standards under the Labor Code, as amended and other laws, rules and regulations,” Baldoz said.
The waiting time spent by workers or talents during production period shall be likewise considered as working time if they are required or engaged to wait.
Movie and television industry, as defined by the Labor Advisory, shall include, but not limited to, movie and television network stations, production outfits, airtime contractors, and other necessary and related industry activities or services.
“We also define talent as an independent contractor or individual who has unique skills, experience and talents, or celebrity status whose means and methods in the performance of his or her work is outside the control of another or hiring party,” Baldoz said.
The Secretary added that the talent’s service engagement contract must be governed by the Civil Code provisions on contracts and other applicable laws, but in no case lower than the standards provide by the Labor Code, as amended.
The advisory, Baldoz said, applies to all workers, including children and elderly, employed in the movie and television industry. Specifically, it includes cameramen/editors, production assistants, teleprompters, operator/editor, VTR person/editor, newscaster/anchor, managers, reporters, news correspondents, and such other individual, whether employed in a network or production outfit, regardless of the mode of compensation and length of service or engagement.
The movie and TV industry’s compliance with wage, wage-related benefits, hours of work, and occupational safety and health standards, shall be enforced by the DOLE Regional Office who has jurisdiction over the workplace or principal office of the TV network or movie production outfit.
Contracting and subcontracting arrangement, including recruitment and placement of workers shall also be guided by appropriate DOLE orders.
Any violation of the provisions of the employment agreement or talent contract uncovered during the conduct of assessment, as well as complaints filed shall be subject to the DOLE’s 30-day conciliation-mediation services or the Single Entry Approach method.
In crafting the labor advisory, DOLE, headed by Secretary Baldoz, conferred with Leo Martinez, director general of Film Academy of the Philippines; Rez Cortez, president of Actor’s Guild; Marivic Limbo and Ramon Ramos of Producers’ Guild, as well as TV network officials, comprised of Cherrie Cruz and Timothy Isla of ABS-CBN; Fidel Asuncion of GMA; Leah Banarez of Radio Veritas; and Emmi Rose Tagala of Eagle Broadcasting.