Gatchalian Orders DOLE to Investigate Paolo Bediones’ Company Over DepEd TV Issue

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian ordered the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to investigate the complaint on delay in the wages of many media and production workers who were hired to develop programs aired on DepEd TV.

Gatchalian and Paolo Bediones
Credit to rightful owner of the photos

Ei2 Tech, Inc., the company owned by television host Paolo Bediones was in a hot seat following reports on delayed wages.

According to information received by Gatchalian’s office, some workers have not received their full wages since September 2020.

The complaining executive producers (EPs) said that the company promised them that they would receive their wages on December 18, 2020, but this did not happen, Instead, they continued to work even though they did not receive a salary.

In December 2020, some EPs were forced to write to Bediones to find out why they were not getting paid.

But the workers were shocked when Bediones allegedly threatened them with libel charges when their grievances leaked to the media.

DepEd, on the other hand, explained that their interaction with Ei2 Tech, Inc. was only voluntary at first. It was later made official on December 29, 2020, when the agency awarded the company the contract worth more than forty -five (45.5) million pesos for the continuation of the DepEd TV project.

In the second week of March, DepEd released an advance payment of P9 million to the company. They say the accounting process is slow.

Meanwhile, the second phase of the project costs P200 million and is still in the bidding process.

“Ang mga media worker na naging bahagi ng DepEd TV ay may malaking ambag sa pagpapatuloy ng edukasyon ngayong panahon ng pandemya kaya dapat naman siguraduhin natin na hindi nahuhuli ang bayad sa kanila bilang sukli sa kanilang serbisyo,” said the chairman of Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture.

Gatchalian added that the EPs also shared that the promised monthly salary to them was P50,000 to P60,000 which eventually resulted in only P3,750 per person per episode.

And because they are not regular employees, they are considered ‘suppliers’ so they have to show official receipts. But if they don’t, they will just pay P5,000 to the company for the OR.

DepEd TV began to emerge last year as an alternative method of learning to the new normal.

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