- GMA Network fined for Eddie Garcia’s death.
- DOLE held GMA network and others liable for violating OSH law.
DOLE has fined GMA network almost 1 million pesos for violation of Occupational Safety and Health Law with regards to the Eddie Garcia case.
In its December 2 order which was made public on Sunday, December 22, GMA network was ordered to pay 810k for its failure to report on time the accident involving veteran actor Eddie Garcia. Aside from the 810k, another 80k fine was also imposed on the network for its failure to hire first aid personnel and safety officers during the shooting of its teledrama.
Aside from GMA, DOLE also held liable other subcontractors which include Alpha Premier Transport Services, Gapo Special Effects Services, Inc., GMA-7 Employees Multi Purpose Coop., Renteqaire Enterprises, CMB Film Services Inc. and Shoot Digital Video Co.
On June 8, Eddie Garcia met an accident during the taping of GMA network’s now shelved teledrama Rosang Agimat.
The incident immediately went viral on social media with pictures of Eddie Garcia falling on the ground face first and being carried by men without a stretcher.
The veteran actor was immediately brought to a hospital in Tondo. Initial reports said that the actor suffered from a heart attack but it was later confirmed to be a severe neck injury.
Garcia was then transferred to the Makati Medical Center where he was comatose for more than a week before succumbing to his injuries on June 20.
Days after the accident, GMA Network started an investigation into what really transpired on the set of Rosang Agimat. On July 2, the network said they had completed the investigation and that they would inform the family of Eddie Garcia first before releasing any information to the public.
DOLE under the OHS Center on the other hand also started their investigation. In an August interview, DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello said the network was found liable for not following the Occupational Safety Health standards in the workplace which resulted in the death of Eddie Garcia.
“May imposition na (to) penalize sila ng P100,000 a day until they comply,” said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.
DOLE’s NCR Director Sarah Buena Mirasol during the budge hearing at the Congress last September also said that GMA Network and its contractors failed to submit a report on the incident within 24 hours, they also did not provide a safety officer and a first aid professional on set.
GMA Network’s answers
Meanwhile, GMA appealed DOLE’s initial ruling saying they have been following safety standards in their workplace.
In response to DOLE’s findings, GMA answered the violations one by one.
On failure to submit an incident report within 24 hours, GMA argued that the 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. GMA submitted the report within one (1) month from the accident which occurred last June 8, 2019.
For the second violation which is lack of security officers, GMA confirmed that it actually had a sufficient number of DOLE-certified safety officers catering to its employees. But the “workplace” covered by the OSH Law is deemed to refer only to those places where services of the employees are regularly rendered. GMA maintained that 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.
And for the third violation which is a lack of first aid professional on the set, GMA attested 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 submitted an appeal to reverse the 890,000-peso fine
The network has received the copy of the order dated December 2, 2019 issued by the Regional Director of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) National Capital Regional Office.
In response, the network submitted an appeal with the Secretary of Labor within the allowed period seeking to annul and reverse the said Order.
GMA will proceed with the necessary steps as soon as the DOLE resolves its appeal.