Statement of Support from Concerned UP CMC Faculty and Staff for the Protesting Contractual Employees of Media Organizations

N.B. – This statement on the issue of contractualization in selected media organizations is signed by 15 concerned faculty members and 9 staff led by UP CMC Dean Roland Tolentino.

Statement of Support from Concerned UP CMC Faculty and Staff for the Protesting Contractual Employees of Media Organizations

December 17, 2014

The concerned faculty and staff of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication (CMC) express their concern over the employment arrangements in selected media organizations where the contractual workers receive little or no benefits and, most of all, lack job security.

The 1987 Constitution  clearly states that workers “shall be entitled to security of tenure, humane conditions of work, and a living wage.” The provision is clearly premised on the State providing “full protection to labor, local and overseas, organized and unorganized, and (promoting) full employment and equality of employment opportunities for all” (Sec. 3, Art. XIII).

We cannot ignore injustice in the workplace, particularly in the media sector, as part of the College’s vision and mission is to develop a “media that is socially responsible, critical and vigilant” and to “provide the critical voice that promotes and safeguards the freedom and independence, and responsibility of media.” It is clear that lack of job security seriously affects the media workers’ efforts to promote and uphold freedom of the press.

In the case of GMA Network, UP CMC has at least 21 alumni (mostly Broadcast Communication and Journalism degree holders) who are members of the Talents Association of GMA (TAG), the organization that filed with the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) a complaint against GMA Network. Unless they are regularized, at least 118 GMA “talents” (as of December 15, 2014) will be jobless.

Since its establishment in 1965 (initially as an institute), UP CMC has taught the highest standards of professionalism and ethics among its students. The concerned UP CMC faculty and staff expect the alumni to fight for their rights whenever they feel exploited and oppressed. As many of its alumni from various media organizations have made known to some of the College officials and faculty members their sorry plight, we cannot afford to stay silent lest we tolerate such injustice.

Consistent with the constitutional provisions protecting the rights of workers, the Supreme Court already ruled that there is an employer-employee relationship between the management and the contractual workers in the news and public affairs unit who are called “talents” (ABS-CBN vs Nazareno et al., September 26, 2006). In another case, the SC also showed the necessity and indispensability of “talents” serving for at least two years to the operations of a media organization (CBS vs Oberio et al., June 8, 2007). The SC also decided in the past that the continuity of contractual arrangements makes a worker a regular employee (Murillo vs Court of Appeals and ABC, June 8, 2007).

In this context, the concerned UP CMC faculty and staff call on all media organizations to review its employment arrangements, hopefully with the objective of ending contractualization as all employees will be entitled to the benefits provided by law like security of tenure and 13th month pay. Many UP CMC graduates occupy senior management positions in media organizations, and we expect them to find a win-win solution to the issue of contractualization.

Indeed, our graduates in particular and media workers in general deserve to be treated better given their contribution to the shaping of public opinion.


Dr. Roland B. Tolentino, Dean
Prof. Danilo A. Arao, Associate Dean
Prof. Evelyn O. Katigbak, College Secretary
Prof. Roehl L. Jamon, Director, UPFI
Prof. Lucia P. Tangi, Chair, Department of Journalism

Prof. Luis V. Teodoro

Broadcast Communication Department
Dr. Elizabeth Enriquez
Prof. Rosa Maria T. Feliciano
Ms. Ivy A. Claudio

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Prof. Eduardo Lejano Jr.
Prof. Shirley Evidente
Prof. Mark David McKeown

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