A seafarer employed by Orient Star Ship Management Co. Inc. as fisherman aboard FV Her Hung No. 168, a Chinese-Taipei Fishing Vessel, was pronounced dead in November 2017 at the Kaohsiung Municipal Siaogang Hospital in Taiwan due to drowning and suffocation with multiple blunt injuries.
During investigation, it was found that the seafarer and his crewmates were chatting at the restaurant of Her Hung No. 168 when a group of Indonesian crew members from other fishing vessels broke into the restaurant. Both sides figured in an argument and the Indonesian crew members started to attack the Philippine crew members. It was during this incident that the said seafarer fell from the deck of the fishing boat which resulted to his untimely demise.
In April 2018, the mother of the slain seafarer filed for an Employees’ Compensation claim but was denied by SSS Candon Branch stating that the injury had no causal relationship to the nature of his work. The assault happened after office hours and outside the official working place. The same decision was sustained by the SSS main office in November 2019.
On appeal, the Employees’ Compensation Commission ruled in favor of the mother of the seafarer.
According to the ECC, the seafarer was at the place where his work required him to be at the time of the brawling incident. Consequently, his death, regardless of the motive of the assailants, is deemed to have arisen out of and in the course of his employment.
Thus, the ECC awarded EC death and funeral benefits to the mother of slain seafarer.
Employees’ Compensation claims based on work-connected sickness or injury which resulted to disability or death are filed at the SSS for the private sector and the GSIS for the public sector.
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