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GMA responds to DOLE’s findings on Eddie Garcia incident

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GMA Network has addressed the preliminary findings of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on the incident involving the late actor Eddie Garcia.

The TV network filed its comment yesterday, Sept. 16. The statement answered three points raised by the government agency, pointing out that GMA allegedly made three violations under the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Law: Failure to submit an incident report within 24 hours, to employ or designate a safety officer, and to employ or designate a certified First Aider.

Recall that Garcia, 90, sustained severe cervical fracture after tripping and falling while shooting an upcoming TV series. The actor was in critical condition at the hospital for nearly two weeks before demise on June 20.

EDDIE GARCIA

EDDIE GARCIA

After completing its own investigation, the network claimed they initially gave a copy of the results to the family of Mr. Garcia “as a matter of respect and thereafter voluntarily submitted a copy to the DOLE on July 5, 2019 in compliance with the law and its IRR.”

The network likewise noted 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.

Nonetheless, GMA submitted the report within one (1) month from the accident which occurred last June 8, 2019.

On having a designated safety officer in the workplace, GMA said it had “sufficient number of DOLE-certified safety officers catering to its employees.”

“The ‘workplace’ covered by the OSH 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,” it read.

“GMA maintains safety and security in tapings through extensive discussions among its safety officers, the program’s officers, and staff and its contractors in coordination with Barangay officials having jurisdiction over the locations for security, traffic and crowd control matters.”

Lastly, GMA stated that three production staff that 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.

“Despite the safety measures undertaken by GMA, it was determined that what happened was an unforeseeable accident.”

The GMA Network said it will continue to cooperate with the DOLE on this matter. (Regina Mae Parungao)

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