Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said that the funeral benefits of the 44 members of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) who died during an encounter with Moro rebels in Mamasapano, Maguindanao under the Employees’ Compensation Program (ECP) is ready for release this week.

Citing a report of Employees’ Compensation Commission Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis, Baldoz said that the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has already processed the funeral benefits of the SAF 44 and that concerned GSIS branches have been advised to release the same to the beneficiaries.

“ECC Regional Extension Units staff were already instructed to coordinate with the families of the SAF 44 and the GSIS branch in their areas. They will inform the families once the checks are available for them to claim,” Baldoz said, quoting Director Banawis’ report.

She also added that the ECC and the GSIS are now working on the processing of the death benefits for the casualties of the Mamasapano clash.

Under the ECP, an employee, whether from the public or private sector, who died as a result of a work-related accident or illness will be granted a funeral benefit of P20,000 and a death benefit in the form of monthly pension for his or her beneficiaries.

Earlier last week, the ECC Board has released a resolution ordering the urgent release of EC benefits for the PNP-SAF casualties of the Mamasapano clash. The said resolution also directed the GSIS, as the administering agency of the ECP, to immediately process and release the corresponding EC disability benefits to the wounded SAF troopers.

“I commend the ECC and the GSIS for working together expeditiously to give what is due for the SAF 44 and their families. Truly, the bravery of these policemen are remarkable that these monetary amounts can never equal. I hope that, somehow, we can help through these efforts,” Baldoz said.