MANILA—The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) on Thursday announced the launch of an emergency fund for media workers in honor of veteran journalist Jose Jaime "Nonoy" Espina, who died Wednesday.
In a statement, the NUJP said it was informed by the Espina family that all donations or "abuloy" for his funeral will be channeled to a health and welfare find for journalists and media workers.
Espina served as NUJP chair until early 2021.
"We know so many colleagues live under precarious economic conditions, with no tenure and often, with little social benefits," Nonoy's sister, Inday Espina-Varona, said in a Facebook post.
The NUJP Board of Directors warmly accepted Espinas' offer, knowing it was something Nonoy would do. When the NUJP organized a fundraiser for him in June, Nonoy said he did not want it to be for him alone as there were other colleagues in need.
An NUJP survey conducted in March 2021 showed that 15 percent of more than 200 journalists polled nationwide receive a salary of P5,000 and below a month, while 19 percent have a monthly salary ranging from P5,000 to P10,000.
The pandemic further worsened the situation of journalists and media workers, with many unable to afford medical treatment when they get sick.
"Magandang paraan ito ng pagbibigay pugay kay Chair Nonoy at sa pagpapatuloy ng pagmamalasakit niya at ng unyon sa mga kapwa mamamahayag," NUJP Chairperson Jonathan de Santos said.
"Kahit minsan parang tayo-tayo na lang ang nagtutulungan, malaking bagay pa rin na kaya at handa tayong gawin ito para sa isa't-isa."
Guidelines for the fund have yet to be announced.