The Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) approved the granting of disability benefits to a finishing mason who suffered injuries on his way home to La Union to attend his child’s graduation rites.

The mason, who worked at DDT Konstract, Inc. in Mandaluyong City, was accommodated in a company-provided barracks during his employment period. On April 4, 2017, while the mason was on his way home to La Union, the passenger bus he was riding figured in an accident along McArthur Highway in Brgy. San Miguel, Tarlac. Due to the collision, he sustained fracture on both legs that required nailing and fixation procedures and several days of hospitalization.

The mason then filed a claim for SSS and EC disability benefits before the Social Security System (SSS) Baguio branch which denied his claim for EC benefits. According to the SSS, the claimant failed to satisfy the qualifications provided under the “Going to and coming from the place of work” rule as the worker was on off-duty status at the time of the accident and there was a deviation from his usual route. Under ECC Board Resolution No. 3914-A, an injury or death of a covered member in an accident while he or she is going to or coming from the workplace shall be considered compensable provided that the act must have been a continuing act, that is, there was no diversion along the way and no departure from his or her usual route.

The case was elevated to ECC which ruled in favor of the former finishing mason. According to the Commission, the accident involving the worker falls within the scope of the “Going to and coming from the place of work” rule.

ECC declared that there was no substantial deviation from the usual route of the worker as La Union serves as his permanent residence despite being accommodated in company-provided barracks during his employment period. Passenger buses from Metro Manila would also necessarily pass by Tarlac, where the accident occurred, on the way to La Union.

Thus, ECC granted EC disability benefits plus reimbursement of out-of-pocket medical expenses to the former finishing mason EC claims for sickness or injury resulting in disability or death are filed at the SSS for the private sector and the GSIS for the public sector.