The Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) approved the grant of disability benefits under the Employees’ Compensation Program (ECP) to a former miner for his work-related loss of vision.
Appellant’s duties involved rendering of assistance to miners at Philex Mining Corporation from 1979 to 1985. In 1990, he worked as a mucker-trash collector at Itugon-Suyog Mines. Inc. and stayed there till 1996. His last employment was at the University of the Baguio, where he worked as a janitor from 2004 to 2016.
Records showed that in 1993, appellant met an accident when a rock hit his eye while working. The incident caused laceration on his left eye. Since then, his left eye started to deteriorate. He was initially treated at the company hospital but was soon referred to a government hospital for further treatment. Because of this, he was granted sick leave by the company and disability benefit at the Social Security System (SSS).
In 2018, the former miner filed for EC disability benefits at the SSS Baguio City branch due to loss of vision, left eye. He was examined and it was confirmed that he was suffering from the said condition. The SSS denied the former miner’s claim on the ground that the injury on his eye was not work-related and there was no causal relationship to the nature of his work. Thus, the former miner elevated the claim to the SSS main office for review. However, the SSS main office sustained the denial of SSS-Baguio City.
On appeal, the ECC granted the claim of the former miner.
The ECC ruled that appellant sustained lacerated wound on his left eye while performing his duties in 1994.
Medical studies showed that vision loss from ocular trauma may result from mechanical injury or from post-traumatic complications. Thus, it cannot be denied that there was a reasonable connection between the former miner’s job which caused the eye injury, which eventually progressed to his present vision loss. Hence, the ECC modified the initial decision and ordered the SSS to pay EC disability benefits to the former miner under PD 626, as amended.
The ECC, an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment, reviews appealed EC Claims denied by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) or the SSS.
D. Lee – REU CAR