AWARE of the dangers faced by journalists that go with their job, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go called for increased protection and security for media workers in his interview on Friday, October 21.
“Sa ating otoridad, do all possible to protect our media people. Alam n’yo, ginagawa ninyo journalists ang inyong trabaho. Pandemic nandiyan kayo, isinusugal ninyo ang buhay ninyo, harap-harap sa tao, inilalapit ninyo ang inyong mga mic, at risk po kayo lalo na sa panahon ng pandemya,” said Go in an interview after personally assisting struggling residents in Mandaue City, Cebu.
Go noted that one of the aspects of journalists’ work may involve sensitive information which may in turn endanger their lives.
“Ngayon, ‘yung mga media naman po habang mayroon silang (binabalita), at risk rin po ang kanilang buhay. Dapat po proteksyunan ang buhay ng bawat mamamahayag,” reiterated Go.
Former president Rodrigo Duterte himself established a presidential task force during his administration to investigate media killings, Go cited, underscoring the necessity of protecting media personnel.
“So lahat manunulat, media people sa radyo, telebisyon, o pasulat proteksyunan dapat ang ating mga media people,” said Go.
Go has earlier filed Senate Bill No. 1183, or the proposed “Media and Entertainment Workers’ Welfare Act” providing enhanced protection, security, and benefits for media and entertainment workers.
The senator noted that media and entertainment workers “trudge the day and night, amid the threat of COVID-19, just to provide people with crisp information and coverage.”
Under the bill, there must be a written contract signed by the media entity and the employee to guarantee utmost protection from unjust compensation and to ensure that their rights and welfare are well protected and not neglected.
At the height of the pandemic, Go also successfully appealed to the government to prioritize members of the media for the national COVID-19 vaccination program without prejudice to other sectors already identified as priorities, such as frontliners as well as poor and vulnerable sectors.