CALABARZON—The Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) and the Philippine Mental Health Association (PMHA) –Lipa City Batangas Chapter inked service partnership in providing psychotherapy and counseling to persons with work-related disabilities (PWRDs) in Monte Vista Hotsprings and Conference Resort, Pansol, Calamba City on July 1, 2019.

The partnership is the first successful initiative in the region in providing easy access to free clinical and diagnostic services such as psychological and psychiatric assessment, psychotherapy and counseling, and consultation to PWRDs with approved EC claims.

Executive Director Stella Banawis said, “ECC already partners with hospitals for physical therapies and rehabilitation. This time, as we constantly aim to better our services, we give equal importance to the mental health of our clients, especially that most of our clients are suffering from depression after experiencing work-related injuries or illnesses.”

PMHA Chapter Executive Manager, Hazel Magpantay said, “This is a very good opportunity for the Filipino workers to know that a government agency like ECC is spearheading such programs especially for work-related cases.”

“People, who are suffering from this type of disorder do not know where and how to seek help. Most are afraid to talk to us. They commonly say that nothing is wrong with them, or if they recognized the need, they don’t know who to talk to and how much cost is needed to pay for the professional fee of the doctor,” Magpantay added.

Banawis said, “We stand firmly with our thrust of providing services to PWRDs and help them become productive members of our society. And we believe that through this partnership, we’ll be able to bridge the gap and help them work productively and fruitfully.”

She added that having this partnership will provide access to PWRDs an early detection of possible mental disorder. “We’d like to become more proactive in such circumstances and focus to our mission of providing protection to our Filipino workers,” Banawis added.

Mental health disorders, although not listed in the ECC 32 Occupational and Work-related Diseases, may also be filed under the EC program subject to the determination of its compensability under PD 626 as amended and it must be filed at the SSS for private sector employees and GSIS for government employees.

Reporting by Ruby Ann Fajardo, Information Officer II, REU4A; Editing by Carlo Katigbak