The Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) has awarded death benefits to the widow of a call center agent who died from a work-related myocardial infarction or heart attack.

The deceased had been employed as a call center agent for a business process outsourcing (BPO) company since December 2010. He started working from home in December 2020 with an 8:00 pm – 6:00 am working schedule. On March 1, 2021, he was brought to the hospital after he collapsed while on duty. Unfortunately, he was pronounced “dead on arrival” due to myocardial infarction.

The widow filed an EC death claim with the Social Security System (SSS) in July 2021. Her EC claim was denied on the ground of that the call center agent’s death was not work-related since the incident occurred while he was working at home.

On appeal, the ECC awarded death benefits to the widow. The ECC cited studies concluding a strong association between shift work and cardiovascular diseases among workers. It also stated that regardless of the place of work, the exposures inherent to the deceased occupation such as working on different shift schedules had increased his risk of contracting heart attack.

ECC also emphasized that in the provision of EC benefits due to illnesses, what is required by PD 626 is a reasonable work-connection and not a direct causal connection with the worker’s employment.

In its implementation of the Employees’ Compensation Program, one of the mandates of ECC is to review and resolve EC claims disapproved by SSS and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).


J. Romasanta – REU 4A