GMA contests DOLE findings on Eddie Garcia accident

  • GMA Network released its statement regarding DOLE’s findings on the Eddie Garcia case
  • In DOLE’s findings, the investigative body found that the network committed three violations of the OSH Law
  • GMA Network maintains that they followed DOLE’s rules and regulations, and they will continue cooperating with them.

GMA Network released it statement on Monday regarding the preliminary findings of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in their investigation on the incident that lead to the death of veteran actor Eddie Garcia in June. 

Garcia suffered a cervical spine injury after he tripped on a cable while filming the GMA-7 teleserye Rosang Agimat in Tondo, Manila. The screen legend was hospitalized, and the fracture left him in a comatose state.

edie garcia accident

DOLE looked into the issue and in their investigation, and according to reports they had found that the network committed 3 violations of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Law. These include: not submitting an incident report within 24 hours from the time of the accident, not providing a safety officer, and not providing a first aid responder.

In the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 11058 or the OSH law, each of GMA-7’s violations carry penalties of P40,000 each. A separate penalty of P100,000 shall be imposed if the violation exposes a worker to death, serious injury, or serious illness.

edie garcia
via PhilStar

The Philippine Star reported, that as a response to DOLE’s allegation that GMA failed to submit a report within the indicated time since the accident, the TV network said that Garcia’s accident was an “exception to the requirement.”

“Regarding the first finding, GMA noted that the IRR (DOLE’s Implementing Rules and Regulations), 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 stated. They also explained that they conducted their own thorough internal investigation and gave the copy of the results to Garcia’s family as a matter of respect.

GMA also responded that the network also has sufficient number of DOLE-certified safety officers. “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.

According to the IRR as per DOLE’s website, a “workplace” is defined as any site or location where workers need to be present or to go to by reason of their work, and which are under the direct or indirect control of the employer, including but not limited to, work areas, employee lounges and restrooms, conference and classroom spaces, employee cafeterias, hallways and emergency access.”

edie garcia
via Jake Versoza/CNN Philippines

The network further maintains that it has “extensive discussions” with safety officers, the program officers, staff, and Barangay officials involved on matters of security, traffic, and crowd control in order to maintain the safety and security of everyone on set.

Finally, answering to the allegation of allegedly failing to employ or designate a certified first aid responder, GMA validated that “Three production staff who 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.”

In another statement, GMA networks assured the public that it would maintain “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” and would continue to cooperate with DOLE on the incident. – Inquirer/Rappler/Philstar

— The Pacific Voice

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