President Benigno S. Aquino III recently signed on executive order increasing the amount of employees compensation benefits granted for employees in the public sector.

The increased EC benefits apply to Temporary Total benefits which shall be increased from ninety (P90.00) to two hundred pesos (P200.00) per day; Funeral benefits, from three thousand (P3, 000.00) to ten thousand pesos (P10, 000.00); Professional fees for the first visit to a general medical practitioner shall be increased from sixty (P60.00) to one hundred pesos (P100.00), and from eighty (P80.00) to one hundred fifty pesos (P150.00) for a specialist. For succeeding visits, professional fees shall be from sixty (P60.00) to eighty pesos (P80.00) for a general medical practitioner, and from fifty (P50.00) to one hundred pesos (P100.00) for a specialist.

These developments equalize the amount of EC benefits in the public sector with the amount of benefits presently enjoyed by employees in the private sector. A GSIS actuarial study showed that the EC-SIF can finance the above amount without requiring additional contributions from EC members.

The ECC, under P.D. 626 as amended, has the authority to upgrade benefits and grant new ones, subject to the approval of the President, provided that the actuarial stability of the State Insurance Fund shall be guaranteed, and such increases in the benefit shall not require any increase in the EC contributions.