The Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) has recently announced that since the start of the pandemic in 2020, it had approved a total of 10,199 cash assistance applications in the amount of ₱102, 515, 000.00 for persons with work-related disabilities (PWRDs) or their beneficiaries.
Out of the 10,199 approved EC cash assistance claims, 4,347 came from private sector whereas the remaining 5,852 came from government sector, comprised of 3,874 and 1,978 applications from civilian and uniformed personnel, respectively. A total of 9,568 of these approved EC cash assistance claims were due to covid19 and the remaining incidents were due to military or police operations, and workplace sickness or accidents.
ECC Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis said, “We, at the ECC, are happy to see workers are availing our cash assistance, this goes to show that there are many workers now who are more aware of the EC Program, including its benefits and services. Director Banawis said, “The grant of EC cash assistance for those who suffered from covid19 is our way to help mitigate the impact of covid19 pandemic on the lives of our PWRDs or their survivors.”
From January 2021 till August this year, the ECC had approved a total of 3,149 EC cash assistance claims amounting to ₱31, 770, 000.00 out of the total 5,029 applications. Out of these applications, 2,144 came from the government sector whereas 1,005 came from the private sector which are mostly covid19-related claims.
Formerly, the cash assistance benefit is exclusively given to those employees who have been disabled due to work-related accidents or illness and who had consequently applied and received their EC claims under the Social Security System (SSS) or the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) or to the beneficiaries of workers who died of work-related contingencies. When the covid19 pandemic started last March 2020, there has been a significant increase in the number of cash assistance applications for covid19 as the ECC considered the said illness under the “increased risk” theory of PD 626, and eventually, as part of Occupational and Work-Related Diseases.
The cash assistance benefit amounts to ₱10,000.00 or ₱15, 000.00 for covid19 related sickness or death, respectively, which is an additional assistance provided by the ECC, aside from the EC Temporary Total Disability/sickness benefit granted by the under SSS or GSIS under the EC Program.
Banawis further said that as of September 2020, the EC Program State Insurance Fund has a total assets of ₱72 Billion ready to protect 32,652,047 private and public Filipino workforce.
She further stressed that in spite of the viability of the State Insurance Fund for provision of benefits, it is still worth reiterating that effective occupational safety and health is still the vital key to contain the spread of covid19 in our workplaces and instilling its importance is still ECC’s the priority of ECC.
The ECP provides benefits and assistance to workers who contracted covid19 due to their employment or working environment. These benefits include disability benefits, medical benefits, and cash assistance benefits for those who contracted work-related covid19 whereas funeral and death benefits are provided to the beneficiaries of workers who died of work-related covid19.
S. Barredo – REU 6