The Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) granted the Employees’ Compensation (EC) disability benefits of a 54-year-old chief cook who was diagnosed with Hernia.

The seaman, who worked as a chief cook, started working in 1998 until he was forced to retire in February 2020 due to recurred Hernia.

In his medical history, it was stated that the seaman underwent his first Hernioplasty in 2009 due to the same diagnosis. However, it recurred while he was employed as a chief cook onboard several vessels under different contracts by a certain manning agency.

In June 2018, after his last sea-trip, the seaman was repatriated to the Philippines and sought medical consultation. He subsequently underwent another Hernioplasty.

When he recovered, the seaman filed application for his EC disability benefit at the Social Security System (SSS) but was initially denied on the grounds that his condition is pre-existing and not due to accident arising out of and in the course of employment as stated under EC guidelines.

The seaman filed a motion for reconsideration at the SSS main office but was also denied, he then filed an appeal before the ECC.

The ECC ruled that the seaman’s duties and responsibilities as a chief cook which entailed him to lift pallets with assorted meals which weighs around 30 kilos per box for more than 10 years and other strenuous tasks that he used to do while working onboard, contributed to his hernia.

Medical findings showed that factors such as straining (pag-ire) while lifting heavy objects among others, increases the risk of developing hernia.   Thus, ECC found reasonable probability that the seaman’s working conditions which required him to lift heavy objects as stated in the list of risk factors caused the recurrence of his Hernia.

The ECC reversed the decision of the SSS and granted EC disability benefits to the seaman pursuant to PD 626, as amended.

The ECC, an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment, reviews appealed EC claims denied by the GSIS or the SSS.


C. Katigbak – M.O.