In June 2021, a 40-year-old administrative officer attended a face-to-face meeting. After a week, she experienced chest tightness and dizziness. “Tatlo kaming nahawaan ng Covid. At ‘yung isa ay namatay,” said the university employee from Camarines Sur.

During her 14-day quarantine, she searched in social media for information about Covid19. Her browsing led her to the Facebook page of the Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), where benefits for those who get infected by the virus were readily available.

She applied for the said benefits, and mailed her application through a courier to ECC Makati office and the Regional Extension Unit (REU) in Legazpi City. “Since nagsend nga ako sa dalawang opisina lumabas na nagkaroon ako ng double entry, kaya natagalan ‘yung pag-process.

She provided a certificate of employment from her employer, RT-PCR test result showing positive Covid19 and application forms.

Medyo matagal talaga ‘yung pagprocess kaya parang hindi na ako nag-expect pa and hopeless na rin ako na baka wala na akong mare-receive na benefits para sa nakuha kong Covid19 nang dahil sa trabaho. Sabi ko noon baka hindi naman pala totoo ‘yung program. Pero ngayon na nakuha ko na yung tseke hindi ko ini-expect na ganun kalaki ‘yung amount,” she explained.

Despite the processing issues, she noted that the service was efficient. Her follow-up requests and messages were never left unanswered. Her patience paid off on February 23, 2022, when she received her ₱10,000.00 Covid19 Cash Assistance cheque.

Malaking tulong itong natanggap kong cash assistance dahil pambawi na rin ito doon sa nagastos ko sa gamot ‘nung mag-positive ako,” she beamed.

Thus, she initiated an EC Program awareness campaign through a memo signed by their university president which was disseminated to all Partido State University personnel in Camarines Sur.

Y. Bonavente – REU 5