ECC grants death benefits to seaman’s mother
The Employees’ Compensation Commission granted EC death with funeral benefits to Remedios Leonardo for the death of her son, Fernando Leonardo, a seaman-motorman-oilier of Bernard Schulte Ship Management, Inc., due to Cerebral Edema secondary to Cardiovascular Disease.
In March 2008, Leonardo underwent physical and laboratory examination prior to his employment. Medical results revealed normal findings so he was declared fit to sea duty.
On December 4 of the same year, Leonardo suddenly experienced chest pain and difficulty of breathing while onboard a vessel. The vessel came from the Port of Callao Peru and was heading towards the Port of San Antonio, Chile but due to Leonardo’s deteriorating condition the vessel returned to the Port of Callao.
The medical personnel immediately boarded the vessel but he was found dead inside his cabin on December 5, 2008. His remains were subjected to Post-Mortem examination and it was declared that the cause of death was Cerebral Edema secondary to Cardiovascular Disease. There was no showing that Leonardo was a victim of a violent incident.
On September 23, 2016, the SSS Main Office sustained the denial of its branch office.
On appeal, ECC granted the petition considering that cardiovascular disease is listed as an occupational disease under the Employees’ Compensation Program. Further, as a seaman-motorman-oilier, Leonardo was among the crew whose responsibility entitled maintenance works of various equipment and machinery inside the engine room. Considering that his job is vital in the navigation of the vessel, it is likely that he is working for almost 24 hours a day.
The Commission cannot discount the possibility that his long working hours have caused over exertion and fatigue that led to the manifestation of his fatal heart illness. ECC also recognizes the strenuous working conditions of Filipino seamen since they encounter various occupational hazards and exposures while onbaord a vessel.
Hence, ECC ordered SSS to grant EC death with funeral benefits to the qualified benefits of Leonardo.
Miner receives additional benefits under the ECC’s KaGabay Program
Daniel Barbado had been working as a rock breaker operator in a mining company for over 30 years. The heavy equipment he was handling was capable of breaking large rocks into smaller portions. The nature of his job exposed him to various hazards that was inherent to his work as a miner.
In December 2000, he was diagnosed to be suffering from hearing loss which was attributed to his constant exposure to loud noises from dynamite explosions and the like. He left the company in late 2014 and filed for Employees’ Compensation disability claim for his hearing loss at the Social Security System. Tests showed that he has lost 54% of his hearing capability and was granted EC benefits for 5months amounting to P18,400.
In June 2016, Barbado visited the ECC Regional Extension Unit (REU) office in the Cordillera Administrative Region and inquired what other benefits he can avail from the EC Program. The ECC-REU officer introduced the Katulong at Gabay sa Manggagawang may Kapansanan (KaGabay) Program. Barbado expressed his interest in setting up a small school supplies store near his residence since it is just close to a public school. The ECC-REU Officer mentioned the different possible avenues of training he can undergo to let his business flourish and recommended the Small Business Management and Financial Literacy Programs of KaGabay since Barbado had no formal background in running a business.
Barbado and his wife completed their Entrepreneurial Development Training on Small Business Management and Financial Literacy module conducted by the Department of Trade & Industry in partnership with the ECC in October 2016. Within a few months, the ECC CAR REU turned over the school supplies worth almost P10,000 to Barbado and his wife for them to start their business in their community. On March 10, 2017, a simple turn over was held at the DOLE-CAR office at Cabinet Hill, Baguio City, where David Barbado and his wife happily claimed their starter kit for the business they had planned for.
ECC awards death benefits to miner’s widow
The Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) granted EC death with funeral benefits to Gloria De Guzman for the death of her husband, Pablo De Guzman, a tailpond maintainer of the Philex Mining Corporation in Tuba, Benguet due to Lung Cancer.
In 2011, De Guzman was admitted at the Notre Dame de Chartres Hospital in Baguio City due to difficulty of breathing. He was subjected to a laboratory examination and was discovered that he had lung mass which was positive for malignant cells consistent with Adenocarcinoma.
Two years after, he died at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center due to Acute Respiratory Failure. Thereafter, De Guzman’s wife filed a claim for EC death benefits but the claim was denied by the SSS Baguio City Branch on the ground of no causal relationship between the employee’s nature of work and his cause of death.
Medical findings show that the pollutants emanated by heavy metals in the working conditions of De Guzman have contributed to the worsening of his already weak respiratory system. Industrial hazards or occupational exposure to heavy metals among miners could cause the development of lung cancer based on medical researches.
The ECC ruled in favor of De Guzman on the ground that the working conditions of the deceased increased the risks of contracting the fatal ailment. His continuous exposure to heavy metals residues for 33 years with the mining company as tailpond maintainer may have led to the development of his cancer of the lungs which, eventually, led to his death.
Thus, the ECC granted the appeal and ordered the SSS to grant the qualified beneficiaries with EC death and funeral benefits under the EC Program.
ECC grants disability benefits to room service attendant
Arnold Malavega, a room service attendant of the Philippine Transmarine Carriers, Incorporated, was granted with disability benefits under the Employees Compensation Program for his Medial Meniscal Tear, left knee.
Medical records reveal that sometime in 2013, Malavega twisted his right knee due to a slipping accident. On December 5, 2015, he sought medical consultation at the in-house physician of the cruise ship due to pain and swelling on his left knee. He underwent a laboratory examination which revealed findings of tears in his ligaments and was diagnosed to have suffered from Medical Meniscal Tear, left knee. Due to his condition, he was repatriated to the Philippines.
On January 11, 2016, Malavega underwent Partial Medical Menisectomy as surgical remedy. He then filed claims for SSS sickness benefits and EC disability benefits at the SSS. The SSS approved the grant of SSS sickness benefits for 60 days effective January 10, 2016, but denied his claim for EC disability benefits on the ground that his working conditions did not increase his risks of contracting his illness in the absence of a specific accident or incident causing the injury.
On appeal, the Employees’ Compensation Commission ruled in favor of Malavega considering that it is not unreasonable to surmise that he had to utilize his left knee more often in the performance of his duties. Further, his working conditions as room service attendant in a cruise ship entailed various changing of positions of his legs in serving food and beverages, in arranging/decorating of table settings, and in attending to various request of guests, the possibility of having Meniscus Tears on his left knee is not remote.
In this case, the ECC deduced that there is a reasonable probability that despite the absence of any injury, the working conditions of Malavega in the cruise ship, which entailed repeated squatting and/or changing of knee position, increased his risk of contracting his ailment.
The ECC ordered the SSS to pay Malavega the corresponding EC disability benefits plus reimbursement of medical expenses for his succeeding medical consultations due to Medical Meniscal Tear, left knee.
Retired Security Guard receives disability benefits from ECC
Levy Morallos, a retired security guard of the Philex Poro Point Installation in Tuba, Benguet was granted with disability benefits under the Employees’ Compensation Program due to his Pulmonary Tuberculosis (PTB).
On May 10, 2007, Morallos underwent chest X-ray examination which revealed findings of Pneumonia. In 2011, he was diagnosed to be suffering from Pulmonary Tuberculosis.
As certified by the Philex Poro Point Installation, the company is responsible for the storage of copper concentrates extracted from the mining sites and that the working environment of its employees entails exposure to mineral dusts and deleterious agent.
Morallos filed a claim for EC disability benefits at the SSS Baguio Branch but it was denied on the ground that the contingency happened after his retirement.
On September 22, 2016, the SSS sustained the denial of its branch office.
On appeal, the Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) ruled in favor of Morallos since there is a reasonable probability that the exposure and continued inhalation of mineral dusts at his workplace have caused the manifestation of his Pneumoconiosis. This was the decision of the ECC despite the late diagnosis because it took into consideration the longer latency period of Pneumoconiosis.
Thus, the ECC ordered the SSS to grant Morallos with EC disability benefits and reimbursement of medical expenses for his Pneumoconiosis.
ECC approves worker’s claim for disability benefits
Fifty-four year old Romeo Alabastro has been working as a Supervisor for Engineering and Administration Department of Shi Designing and Manufacturing, Inc. in Pasig City since December 11, 1989.
Records reveal that between April 2002 and July 2003, Alabastro was assigned in a waste gas cleaning plant in Sydney, Australia. He was also deployed at Minemouth Power Plant, Vinacoal Na Duong Coal-fired Power Plant in Hanoi, Vietnam. Records further reveal that between December 19, 2012, and January 16, 2013, he was assigned at Coal and Biomass Power Plant in Jurong Island, Singapore.
On January 10, 2014, Alabastro underwent a laboratory examination due to a nasopharyngeal mass which revealed findings consistent with carcinoma.
On account of his ailments, Alabastro was granted SSS sickness benefits for 120 days. He also filed a claim for additional EC disability benefits at the SSS Pasig Branch but was denied on the ground of no causal relationship.
On December 8, 2016, the SSS main office sustained the denial of its branch office.
Upon review, the Employees’ Compensation Commission ruled in favor of Alabastro considering that there is a reasonable probability that his exposure to toxic chemicals, minerals and deleterious agents at his places of assignment abroad have caused the manifestation of his illness.
Medical experts may have not yet confirmed the causal relationship between coal exposure and Nasopharyngeal Cancer, however, medical findings have already established the connection between occupational exposure to different compounds and cancer of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses.
The ECC ordered the SSS to grant Alabastro with EC disability benefits and reimbursement of medical expenses for his succeeding medical consultations due to Nasopharyngeal Cancer.
Tinsmith’s appeal for disability benefits due to hearing loss, approved by ECC
The Employees’ Compensation Commission recently granted the EC disability benefits of Rodolfo Eco, Jr. which was initially denied by the Social Security System. Eco is a former employee of F.R. Sevilla Industrial and Development Corporation who appealed his EC claim for Hearing Loss.
On October 9, 2013, Eco underwent pre-employment physical examination including hearing examination. He was declared fit to work as all results are normal. He was assigned in the construction of Entertainment City Project in Paranaque City as tinsmith from October 10, 2013 until May 30, 2014. During his employment, he was responsible in the actual cutting of different types of ducting and in the fabrication of assorted duct type requirements.
Records shows that Eco resigned from his employment and transferred to Beta Electric Corporation in Taguig City as an office utility/helper of its Electrical Department. On January 20, 2015, he was diagnosed to be suffering from hearing loss.
Based on the sickness report and on the employment data form signed by the Assistant Vice-President for Finance of F.R. Sevilla Industrial and Development Corporation, Eco’s hearing loss was due to excessive noise at the workplace.
On September 15, 2015, SSS Makati Branch denied his claim for EC disability benefits on the ground that there was no longer employer-employee relationship during the onset of illness.
The SSS Main Office then instructed the branch to elevate the entire records of the claim and to conduct an ocular inspection at the offices of the last two employers of Eco for further evaluation.
The SSS Makati Branch facilitated the conduct of ocular inspection at the office of F.R. Industrial and Development Corporation in Novaliches, Quezon City. It was reported by the HR officer that Eco was the only one among the 50 Tinsmiths who has been diagnosed to be suffering from hearing loss. There was no verification that the branch conducted an ocular inspection at the office of the present employer of Eco.
On September 8, 2016, the SSS sustained the denial of its branch office.
On appeal, the ECC instructed the Secretariat to refer the case to a medical professional for an expert opinion on the issue of casual relationship and to the Occupational Safety and Health Center to conduct further research.
Based on the evaluation and medical report, OSHC confirmed the existence of reasonable probability between the hearing impairment and the working conditions of Eco.
Thus, the ECC ruled in favor of Eco considering that with his exposure to loud noise in his previous working conditions, the probability that the said detrimental risk-factor caused the manifestation of his hearing loss is not remote.
Hence, the ECC decided to grant Eco with EC disability benefits and reimbursement of the succeeding medical expenses that would be incurred for his medical consultations due to hearing loss.