DOLE finds GMA violated work safety regulations in Eddie Garcia accident

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 4) — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) found that TV network GMA and its contractors committed three work safety violations related to the accident which led to the death of veteran actor Eddie Garcia.

DOLE National Capital Region director Sarah Buena Mirasol said Wednesday they found that GMA and its contractors did not submit a report on the incident within 24 hours, did not provide a safety officer and did not provide a first aide professional on set.

Mirasol announced this during the House Appropriations committee’s hearing on DOLE’s proposed ₱14.42-billion 2020 budget after being asked by Gabriela party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas about the progress on the department’s probe on Garcia’s death.

Brosas also asked if DOLE has imposed any penalties over the accident, but this was not answered.

Mirasol said GMA and its unnamed contractors have asked for an extension to file their comments on DOLE’s findings.

She added that the parties involved will have a conference with DOLE on September 16. DOLE will then come up with a resolution on the incident.

Garcia tripped and fell to the ground during a taping for a TV series in June in Tondo, Manila. He broke his neck and slipped into a comatose state for nearly two weeks before he passed at the age of 90 on June 20.

READ: Directors call for better safety protocol on set after Eddie Garcia's death

Under Republic Act No. 11058, or the Occupational Safety and Health law, employers, contractors and subcontractors who expose workers to death, serious injury or serious illness by their failure to comply with occupational health standards will be fined ₱100,000 daily until the violation is corrected.

DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello earlier told CNN Philippines that GMA Network can also face suspension.

GMA has said that it is conducting its own probe into the absence of a medical team during taping.

"It has been the network’s practice to have medical personnel and ambulance crew on standby whenever the production is executing big action scenes during taping. This has been likewise the practice of other GMA programs," the network said in June.