GMA-7 contests DOLE findings on Eddie Garcia case
MANILA, Philippines – GMA-7 has responded to the findings of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in the investigation of the accident that led to the death of veteran actor Eddie Garcia in June.
In their investigation, DOLE found that the network committed 3 violations of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Law. These include 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 their comment filed on September 16, GMA-7 said that after completing their internal investigation of the incident, the network first gave a copy of the results to Garcia's family "as a matter of respect."
They also said that the OSH Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) "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."
They said they submitted their report to DOLE on July 5, within one month of the accident, which happened on June 8.
Regarding the second violation found by DOLE, GMA said that they have "a sufficient number of DOLE-certified safety officers catering to its employees," arguing that the "workplace" covered by the law "is deemed to refer only to those places where services of the employees are regularly rendered."
"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," they said.
In the IRR as posted on DOLE's website, "workplace" is defined as "any site or location where workers need to be present or to go to by reason of their work, and which are under the direct or indirect control of the employer, including but not limited to, work areas, employee lounges and restrooms, conference and classroom spaces, employee cafeterias, hallways and emergency access."
The network said that it maintains safety and security in tapings by having "extensive discussions" with safety officers, the program's officers, staff, contractors, and Barangay officials involved on matters of security, traffic, and crowd control.
On the last violation found by DOLE, GMA said that on the day of the accident, there were 3 members of the production staff who completed first aid and CPR lecture demonstrations present on location.
"Despite the safety measures undertaken by GMA, it was determined that what happened was an unforeseeable accident," they said.
The network also responded to a September 7 article in the Philippine Daily Inquirer that said GMA-7 refused provide DOLE with a list of the locations of all its teleseryes.
They said that they did not refuse to provide the information, and that they did not submit it immediately "because of their tenativeness and the fact that they are too numerous to remember from memory."
"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," GMA-7 said.
They maintained that they will continue to cooperate with DOLE regarding the issue. – Rappler.com