Makabayan bloc seeks probe on DepEd TV workers’ pay issue

Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 23 2021 02:17 PM | Updated as of Mar 23 2021 03:00 PM

MANILA – Progressive lawmakers in the House of Representatives are asking a committee in the chamber to look into reported delays in the compensation of workers under the Department of Education's educational TV project.

Bayan Muna Rep. Ferdinand Gaite filed on Monday House Resolution No. 1662, which calls on the House labor and employment committee to investigate in aid of legislation the reported delays on the compensation of about 400 workers under Ei2 Tech Inc., the production company contracted by the DepEd to create content for its TV-based mode of instruction amid the shift to home-based learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aside from Gaite, Bayan Muna Representatives Carlos Zarate and Eufemia Cullamat, ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro, Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Arlene Brosas, and Kabataan Party-list Rep. Sarah Elago are also signatories of the resolution.

“DepEd has the moral responsibility to ensure that the workers under their contracted service providers should be properly compensated without delay, specially under the economic hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the lawmakers said in the resolution.

“The company Ei2 Tech Inc. and officials must be made to explain their part and actions regarding the complaint of the [executive producers],” they added.

Workers under Ei2 Tech Inc., headed by TV host Paolo Bediones, that produced episodes for DepEd TV earlier came forward to complain about the months-long delay in their salaries.

In July 2020, the DepEd partnered with Ei2 Tech Inc. on a “voluntary basis” to set up DepEd TV, one of the components of the department’s distance learning program in response to the ban on in-person classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The DepEd awarded a contract to Ei2 Tech Inc. for the DepEd TV project last Dec. 29 and began releasing partial payments to the production company earlier this month.

Former workers under Ei2 Tech Inc. have said they were considering taking legal action against the company due to the long-delayed salaries.

The former workers, mostly executive producers, also alleged that they were removed from Ei2 Tech without prior notice in late December after writing a letter to Bediones to ask for an explanation about their delayed salaries.

ABS-CBN News has repeatedly sought a comment from Bediones but he has yet to respond.

– With a report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News


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