Tuguegarao City, Cagayan – “Bakit ngayon lang po namin ito nalaman Ma’am, 20 years na po ako sa serbisyo?” said one of the participants.
In March 2021, the Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) conducted an online orientation about the EC Program (ECP) over Google Meet for the non-teaching officials of DepEd Cagayan and the principals of various schools in Cagayan.
The discussion emphasized the benefits of the employees in case of work-related contingencies and the compensability of COVID-19 in this time of pandemic. Several DePed officials shared that few of their teachers got infected with COVID and thus they would like to know how much and what are the benefits they can receive.
The participants were informed that benefits include cash assistance ranging from Php10,000 to Php15,000, EC sickness benefit and medical benefits. In case of death due to COVID-19, the worker’s dependents will also receive funeral and death benefits. However, before the cash assistance could be availed, they should have initially filed for an EC Sickness at the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and upon approval of their EC claims, they could submit medical certificate or medical abstract or quarrantine clearance or RT-PCR test result with Department of Health (DOH) accredited facility, 2 valid IDs along with the filled out cash assistance forms in the ECC.
Participants were in awe about the benefit package of ECC and how it would greatly help our teachers during this pandemic. However, one of the participants said, “napakaganda po ng inyong mga benepisyo pero bakit ngayon lang po namin ito nalaman Ma’am, 20 years na po ako sa serbisyo.” It was then explained to him that, he should be thankful because despite his lengthy service, he never filed for the EC benefits, that means that he never had work-related illness or injuries and one possible reason why employees are unaware about the ECC is that. EC contributions are paid solely by the employer not by the employee. The 100 per month contribution is not deducted from their salaries.
“In the ECP Awareness Survey of 2020, there is a 15% increase from the last 25% awareness survey in 2015, which means that the public are getting more informed about the ECC and it is a good sign because it means that, many workers are now aware of the ECC Program,” said ECC Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis.
“Despite the increase, we promise to continue improving our programs and benefits to cater the needs of our employees and to improve our ways of informing the public about ECC’s existence and its mandate,” Director Banawis said. She added however that prevention of work-related contingencies should be a primary concern of all workers.
R. Andrada – REU2