(File photo)

MANILA – Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles is determined to give government media workers a more “humane” salary, citing how their wages are currently “very much below the industry standard.”

Cruz-Angeles cited how state-run PTV-4 is having trouble hiring more media workers because they are not receiving proper compensation.

“Even if we weren’t aiming to be the primary channel for news…just to be humane na mabigyan po ng nararapat na suweldo at least man lang iabot natin sa (that we give them just compensation that at least reaches) industry or government standards,” she said during her virtual attendance at the Senate committee on public information and mass media hearing on Monday.

Because government media workers are not given just compensation, she said current employees had to handle a more demanding workload.

“Ang nangyayari po na-o-overwork ang ating mga empleyado…May mga cases na hindi nababayaran ng overtime, nasosobrahan yung pagbigyan ng trabaho sa kanila (What happens is our employees are overworked…There are cases that they are given overtime pay and they’re given too much work),” she said.

She expressed hope that Congress would give the Office of the Press Secretary a higher budget as a source of their funding.

“I will turn this into a plea na sana po madagdagan ang budget ng ating mga estasyon lalong-lalo na ang PTV (that we receive additional budget for our stations especially PTV),” she said.

“Kaya marami pong bakante sa (The reason why there are many vacancies in) PTV because not a whole lot of talent will want to work for us. Sana po maaalala ito pagka naghingi na po kami ng budget namin (I hope you remember this when we start asking for our budget),” she added.

Ahead of her plea, Senator-elect Rafael “Raffy” Tulfo asked Cruz-Angeles to prioritize raising the salary of government media.

“Kung sila po ay mababa ang suweldo, marami sa kanila ay walang gana magtrabaho (If they have low salaries, many of them have no desire to work), demoralized,” Tulfo, a former reporter of PTV-4, said.

“My request is dapat ang mga empleyado ng PTV4, dapat sila ay well paid, well taken care of. Pero sa nangyayari po ngayon, sila po ay aping-api. I know that for a fact because dati po aping-api rin po na empleyado sa gobyerno noon (The employees of PTV should be well paid, well taken care of. But what is happening now is they are being oppressed. I know that for a fact because I was also an oppressed government employee before),” he added.

Senator Robin Padilla, chair of the committee, vowed to bring the concerns of Cruz-Angeles up during the budget hearing. (PNA)