MANILA – With the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) imposing an 8 to 12 hours working period for film and television actors and production staff effective last week, media giant ABS-CBN questioned the sudden implementation of the mandate.
“The day that the DOLE issued the advisory was the same day it hurriedly met with broadcast management representatives – a meeting attended only by ABS-CBN – to request data that would help them understand the TV industry,” the network said in a statement.
“In that same meeting, DOLE announced it would conduct site visits in the first week of May and draft a Department Order in the second week of May – which would then be presented to industry stakeholders for comment,” they continued.
ABS-CBN clarified, however, that they were ‘not against improving the working conditions of everyone in the industry’ but believed that DOLE should have further consulted various television networks and production companies before coming up with the labor advisory.
“[The television network] has always championed and supported any development, whether initiated by the Department of Labor and Employment or not, that ensures the health and well-being of its workers and talents.”
Due to the lack of consultation and sudden implementation, the television station has then been ‘constrained to seek a temporary restraining order (TRO) from the Regional Trial Courts (RTC) of Quezon City’ against DOLE’s mandate ‘defining the working conditions in the movie and television industry.’
“Any meaningful change must factor in the ideas and opinions of stakeholders and field experts for it to protect both the welfare of our workers and the sustainability of the industry. For this to happen, a crucial process would be in-depth consultations with all parties,” they explained.
“ABS-CBN maintains that due process must be followed…” they added.