‘Years without job security’: PTV-4 management urged to regularize workers

July 28, 2020 - 4:43 PM
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PTV workers
A picture of a production staff working behind the scenes as uploaded on PTV's official Facebook page on July 23, 2020. (Photo from PTV via Facebook)

A former host and broadcaster of People’s Television Network urged the management to “swiftly” process the regularization of its employees and prioritize their welfare amid the COVID-19 pandemic as he bowed out of the state-run network after being its longtime worker.

Jules Guiang shared a post on his social media accounts that detailed his side of the story after reports surfaced about him allegedly being fired by a government official for his critical social media posts.

The former PTV-4 employee said that he initially planned to work in the network for a decade but circumstances had prevented him from doing so. He worked in the network for eight years.

Guiang highlighted the supposed issue of contractualization besetting the “hardworking” employees of the network even though some of them have been “working for more than a decade” already.

“They are some of the 400+ contract-of-service employees who pray that their contracts would be renewed every 3, 6, or 12 months. Years without benefits. Years without job security. While some of them, like me, are contractuals as a choice, but some, if not most, would definitely want to be regularized,” he wrote on Facebook.

Guiang bared that he had previously decided to continue working for PTV despite the circumstance due to his “love for the network,” as well as his work and the people he had worked with.

However, he realized that he has eventually “reached” the end of his relationship with the network because of the “uncertainties” surrounding his environment.

“Maybe I have reached a point when I got exhausted already, of pleading and pleasing some personalities why I deserve a spot in this platform. Maybe it’s been years when the uncertainties have affected my mental health,” Guiang wrote.

He then urged PTV’s management to address issues on job security and prioritize the network workers’ “welfare” especially amid a pandemic.

“I urge the new PTV management to swiftly process the regularization of the network’s employees. I urge them to focus on the welfare of their employees in the middle of this pandemic. I urge them to treat their people with love, compassion, kindness, appreciation, and respect,” Guiang said.

My Tough Love Relationship with PTV-4Eight years. I promised myself to stay then fly after a decade, but I guess ‘8’…

Posted by Jules Guiang on Monday, July 27, 2020

 

The Philippine Entertainment Portal reported that Guiang was fired on July 20 for tweeting about contractualization in government-run offices like PTV.

The website shared a screengrab of one of his tweets where he lambasted Rep. Mike Defensor (Anakalusugan party-list) for grilling ABS-CBN in a congressional hearing about its practice of hiring people under different contracts.

RELATED: Contractual labor legal, but ABS-CBN ready to review worker benefits and policies

“Check govt’s backyard, thousands aren’t regularized. Ex: I’m on my 8th year in PTV w/o benefits, no employer-employee status. Job orders are a thing in govt & private sector,” Guiang tweeted before.

“We’re all for regularization, for a living wage, etc. I just find this argument hypocritical to be used against a network that is trying to renew their franchise. Maybe it’s a wake up call for the industry to treat their people fairly pero ‘wag naman ipitin ang dos dahil dito,” he added.

PEP reported that a certain government official didn’t like Guiang’s critical posts which eventually resulted in his termination at PTV.

Contractualization 

Contractualization refers to workers being hired on a contractual basis where there is a limit of the tenure to work. The law says, however, that workers must be regularized after six months or the probationary period if they pass the standards set by their employers.

“An employee who is allowed to work after a probationary period shall be considered a regular employee,” Article 296 of the Labor Code says, as quoted by Business World.

A regular employee enjoys the government-mandated benefits given to workers such as the 13th-month pay, annual leaves, health benefits and social security benefits.

Last April, Rep. Rufus Rodriguez (Cagayan de Oro, Second District) urged President Rodrigo Duterte to extend the contracts of contractual government workers up to December 31 due to the threat of the pandemic.

He said that such employees are not covered by the civil service law and do not enjoy the benefits of a regular worker.

Ending contractualization is one of Duterte’s campaign promises.

In January 2017, Duterte approved the implementation of a new regulation of Department of Labor and Employment on contractualization. It only bans “endo” and other “labor-only” contracting practices.

Labor union said the DOLE’s rule would “allow illegal endo scheme to take a new form through ‘seasonal’ and project-based employment.”

In July last year, Duterte was also criticized for refusing to sign the Security of Tenure bill that he certified as urgent.

“I believe the sweeping expansion of the definition of labor-only contracting destroys the delicate balance and will place capital and management at an impossibly difficult predicament with adverse consequences to the Filipino workers in the long term,” Duterte said.