Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – The Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) represented by Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis has been appointed as the Vice-Chairman for the Asian Workers’ Compensation Forum (AWCF) during its third General Assembly last 22 to 24 November 2016 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center in Malaysia.

The 13 AWCF member organizations elected President-Director Agus Susanto of the BPJS Ketenagakerjaan of Indonesia as the new Chairman of the Forum. Chairman Susanto appointed Executive Director Banawis for the Vice Chairman post.

The AWCF was organized to develop partnership among the members of the Forum to facilitate human exchanges and information sharing, which will contribute to the development of the workers’ compensation and the enhancement of social security in Asian countries.

It also develops and maintains reciprocally helpful relationships with other similar associations or fora, among others, International Social Security Association (ISSA), ASEAN Social Security Association (ASSA) European Workers’ Compensation Forum (EWCF), International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions (IAIABC), and Rehabilitation International (RI).

Banawis explained that AWCF is vital for the ECC to gather more ideas on how to improve coverage, adequacy and sustainability of the Philippine workmen’s compensation program to include the informal migrants and other vulnerable sectors.

“I am pleased that AWCF has once again convened to encourage and promote exchange of information among its members to ultimately serve its purpose of improving the workers’ compensation globally,” said Banawis.

Every two (2) years, the AWCF hold its general assembly. This year, it discussed various issues including the threats and opportunities to social security schemes brought about by the digital economy, globalization, climate change and the aging global workforce.

The Secretary General of ISSA, Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, emphasized that in order for social security institutions to be relevant and sustainable, broader measures in effective occupational safety and health programs as wells as the rehabilitation of disabled workers are needed.

The AWCF was established in July 2010 and convened its first general assembly in October 2012 with nine (9) member organizations, including the National Social Security Fund of Cambodia, BPJS Ketenagakerjaan of Indonesia, Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare of Lao PDR, Social Security Organization of Lao PDR, Social Security Organization of Malaysia, ECC of the Philippines, Korea Workers’ Compensation and Welfare Service of Republic of Korea, Department of Labour of Sri Lanka and Vietnam Social Security of Viet Nam.

AWFC currently has 13 member organizations, including the Social Insurance General Office of Mongolia, Social Security Office of Thailand and Office of the Commissioner for Workmen’s Compensation of Sri Lanka. During the general assembly this year, the outgoing AWCF Chairman CEO Dato Dr. Mohammed Azman Bin Dato Aziz Mohammad of SOCSO Malaysia inducted the newest AWCF member, the Social Security System (SSS) of the Philippines represented by Dr. Brenda Viola.

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