DOLE says GMA-7 committed work safety violations in Eddie Garcia accident

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has found that GMA-7 committed 3 violations of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Law in the accident that led to the death of actor Eddie Garcia in June.

Garcia suffered a cervical spine injury after he tripped on a cable while filming the GMA-7 teleserye, Rosang Agimat in Tondo, Manila. He died at age 90, after being in a coma for almost two weeks.

According to reports, DOLE NCR director Sarah Buena Mirasol named GMA-7’s violations at DOLE’s budget hearing before the House committee on appropriations on September 4.

Mirasol said that GMA-7’s 3 violations are: not submitting an incident report within 24 hours from the time of the accident, not providing a safety officer, and not providing a first aid responder.

In the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 11058 or the OSH law, each of GMA-7’s violations carry penalties of P40,000 each. A separate penalty of P100,000 shall be imposed if the violation exposes a worker to death, serious injury, or serious illness.

Inquirer reported that DOLE has formally informed GMA-7 of the findings of its investigation, and ordered the company to submit its comments on the findings. Mirasol said that the network asked for an extension to submit its comments.

A formal hearing for the case is set for September 18. 

GMA-7 completed its own probe into the incident in July, but has not publicized the results, saying it will first release its findings to Garcia's family.

Garcia's death has led those in the entertainment industry to call for better working conditions for entertainment workers. The Directors Guild of the Philippines, as well as Garcia's former co-star Rez Cortez,  said that the actor's death is a stark reminder for the need for better safety protocols on set. At the same time Garcia's stepson 1-Pacman Representative Mikee Romero said he plans to file a bill to safeguard the well-being of actors on set. –