Press Release
July 3, 2019

De Lima condemns killing of ex-news cameraman, stresses need to give insurance for media practitioners

Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has strongly condemned the killing of a former news cameraman in Tagum City even as she underscored the importance of giving hazard pay and insurance coverage for media practitioners, especially those assigned in strife-torn areas.

"Mariin nating kinokondena ang pagpatay na ito sa isang dating cameraman ng PTV-4. Tayo'y lubos na nalulungkot sa nangyari at nagpapaabot tayo ng pakikiramay sa kanyang mga naulila," said De Lima, a known champion of press freedom and human rights.

"Nananawagan tayo sa mga awtoridad na gawin ang lahat para mapanagot at maparusahan ang nasa likod ng krimen," added the lady Senator from Bicol, a human rights and social justice champion.

On Sunday, Reymond Faciol, a former cameraman of the Provincial Public Information Office and PTV Davao del Norte, was gunned down in Barangay Mankilam, Tagum City while he was about to enter his apartment.

According to Tagum City Police spokesman, P/Capt. Anjanette Tirador, authorities are looking at all possible motives, including personal or work-related grudges. Faciol worked as cameraman for PIO and PTV Davao Del Norte for eight years before his contract ended recently.

In the 17th Congress, De Lima submitted Senate Bill No. 1860 requiring media entities to provide insurance coverage and hazard pay to journalists and other media persons, especially to those assigned in conflict or disaster areas.

De Lima's measure also gives additional insurance benefits, such as disability, health and hospitalization benefits, for journalists, whom she describes as a dangerous profession in the Philippines.

"In light of the dangerous circumstances confronted by journalists, it is imperative they be provided adequate mandatory hazard pay and commensurate insurance," De Lima pointed out.

Under De Lima's measure, media entities must give additional insurance coverage for media practitioners and employees on field assignments, including disability benefits of P350,000 and death benefits amounting to P300,000.

De Lima also wants media entities to reimburse actual medical costs up to P200,000 for all mass media practitioners and employees on field assignments who shall be hospitalized or shall require medical attendance for injuries sustained while in the performance of duty.

In addition, De Lima wants journalists and other media persons assigned in "difficult, strife-torn and embattled areas" to be compensated with hazard pay equivalent to at least 25 percent of their gross monthly salary for the duration of such deployment.

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