Thirty-three workers from Central Luzon who tested positive of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) received cash assistance from the Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC), through its regional extension unit in the region.
ECC Central Luzon started awarding the cash assistance worth Php 10,000.00 last August 28 to the workers who contracted COVID-19 because of their work. Most of the recipients are healthcare workers from different hospitals in the region.
The cash assistance is part of ECC’s Quick Response Program (QRP) which provides immediate help to workers and their families in the event of work-related contingencies such as injuries, sickness, or death. Through QRP, the agency also provides workers with psycho-social counseling and assistance in the filing of EC claim.
Aside from the cash assistance, workers who tested positive of COVID-19 because of their work and who are compulsory members of the Social Security System (SSS) or the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) may also avail benefits under the Employees’ Compensation Program (ECP) which include sickness, and medical benefits. In case of death, their beneficiaries may also claim death and funeral benefits.
“As the pandemic persists and the risk of COVID-19 remains, ECC also continues to guarantee assistance to workers who suffered from the coronavirus disease due to their employment. We understand the plight of COVID-19 patients who had to deal with physical, mental, and financial struggles in battling the disease, as such, we want to somehow alleviate their struggles through our programs,” said ECC’s Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis.
Although COVID-19 is not included in ECC’s List of 32 Compensable Diseases, workers who contract it may still avail the benefits under the ECP if they can establish the causal connection of contracting the disease and their work or their working environment through the Increased Risk Theory.
Workers who tested positive of COVID-19 may file their EC claims at SSS for the private sector employees and at GSIS for the public sector employees.
ECC offices nationwide are also open to assist workers on their EC claims. The public is requested to observe precautionary measures such as wearing of face mask and shield and social distancing in visiting ECC offices or to take advantage of the agency’s Facebook page and phone numbers for their queries.
– REU 3, Danica Lacson