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MARCH 2, 2015

NR # 3758B

Solons want GMA Inc. probed for non-regularization of talents


Lawmakers have asked the House Committee on Labor Employment to investigate GMA Inc. for the nonregularization of its talents, in violation of the provisions of the Labor Code of the Philippines on regularization of
employment.
In House Resolution 1893, Reps. Emmi A. De Jesus (Party-list, Gabriela), Luzviminda C. Ilagan (Partylist, Gabriela) and Jose Christopher Y. Belmonte (6 th District, Quezon City) said Congress should look into the
allegations to protect the right of GMA workers to security of tenure in employment, which is one of the most vital
labor rights guaranteed by the Philippine Constitution.
Citing the case filed before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), de Jesus said members of
the Talents Association of GMA (TAG) have complained of non-regularization against GMA Inc. despite long
years of working for the television station.
De Jesus said instead of being recognized as regular employees, TAG members who include cameramen,
production assistants, editors, writers, researchers and segment and executive producers, were made to sign a
Talent Agreement, which categorizes them as mere talents providing services to GMA as independent contractors.
TAG members allege that since they meet the four-fold test of regular employment in the manner and
selection of engagement, the payment of wages, the power to dismiss and the control over the means and methods
of their work rest on GMA, they are for all intents and purposes regular employees of GMA, de Jesus said.
De Jesus said TAG members believed that GMAs claim and invocation of the concepts of independent
contractor and employment with a fixed period are but efforts to circumvent the rule on regular employment under
the Labor code and prevailing jurisprudence.
In pushing for the investigation, de Jesus said Article II Section 18 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution
affirms labor as a primary social economic force and it directs the State to protect the rights of workers and
promote their welfare.
Security of tenure is best guaranteed by affording employees the status of regular employment under
Article 280 of the Labor Code and the prevailing jurisprudence on regular employment, de Jesus said.
Ilagan said there is rampant denial of regular employment in almost all types of businesses and industries
in the country, with the clear mandate to promote regular employment often circumvented by contractualization
and miscategorization of employment.
Contractualization and miscategorization of employment allows business owners to skirt the payment of
mandated benefits, which they instead pocket as additional profits to the detriment of their employees who are
literally kept at their mercy, Ilagan said.
The unchecked practice of non-regulation, Belmonte said, has resulted in the undesirable fact of
contractual employees far outnumbering regular workers.
Belmonte said it not only the House, which should investigate GMA for the alleged violation of the
provisions of the labor laws on regularization of employment.
Considering the serious allegations of TAG members on GMAs practices against regularization of
employment and considering further that the same affects many of its employees, the Department of Labor and
Employment must exercise vigilance by investigating these alleged practices by GMA and other businesses against
whom allegations of serious labor violations are made, Belmonte said. (30) mrs