TV host and personality Paolo Bediones is currently facing issues regarding a project between the Department of Education (DepEd) and his production company, Ei2Tech. Workers have been alleging since the project ended in 2021 that they haven’t been paid; as of February 2022, the amount is allegedly at P42 million.
The project in question was DepEd TV, an educational TV channel launched last August 11, 2020 to help with the pandemic’s strain on education. It was an alternative to help with the distance learning set-up.
From October 2020 to September 2021, Bediones’ Ei2Tech produced 10-15 minute video lectures for various grade levels.
Over 400 media professionals and workers were hired for the job by Ei2Tech. During the last three months, many complaints surfaced regarding delayed talent fees and salaries. This is also when many people started discussing the possibility of filing lawsuits.
In late January of this year, Bediones communicated with Philippine Entertainment Portal or PEP.ph on the issue.
“There have been delays in talent fees and the company is finding ways to rectify the situation by sourcing additional funding,” he said. “It was unfortunate that an investor in the project backed out because of COVID a few months ago.”
Additionally, he claimed that the company is aware of the obligation to the ‘freelancers’ who worked on DepEd TV. “However, there are also some areas of dispute and compliance which have yet to be resolved, like the non-issuance of ORs, unliquidated advances, non-completion of tasks and no clearance.”
Bediones was consequently terminated from his job at News 5, where he was a reporter, given the controversy. In an official statement, News5 said “Issues … have affected his work as a news anchor for News5. For this reason, the network deemed it best to release him from his contract effective February 1, 2022.”