GMA Network on Monday, September 16, has responded to the preliminary findings of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) regarding the incident involving the late veteran actor Eddie Garcia.
The initial findings of DOLE claimed that GMA Network allegedly violated work safety standards on the day of Eddie’s accident on location during a shoot for his upcoming television series. The violations stated were: 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.
GMA Network, however, disputed the allegations and explained that they had initially given a copy of the results of their “thorough internal investigation” to Eddie’s family before submitting a copy to the DOLE on July 5, 2019, a month after the incident, “in compliance with the law and its IRR.”
GMA also 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.”
The Network also claimed they had a “sufficient number of DOLE-certified safety officers catering to its employees.” Regarding their alleged violation that they didn’t have a designated safety officer in the workplace, GMA stated that the term “workplace” covered by the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Law refers “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,” they said.
They also claimed that they ensure the safety and security during their tapings by coordinating with safety officers, the program’s officers, the staff, the contractors, and the Barangay officials. They added that first-aid responders were present on-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 Network continued.
GMA assured the public that they would continue to cooperate with the DOLE in addressing the issue.
Eddie Garcia passed away on June 20, 2019. He was 90-years-old.