Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, chairperson of the Employees Compensation Board of Trustees, yesterday said all the families of the 44 members of the Philippine National Police’s Special Action Force, known as SAF 44, who have fallen in the Mamasapano incident, have received a total of P979, 755.49 in Employees Compensation (EC) benefits.

Citing a report of Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis, Baldoz said the EC benefits consisted of funeral and survivorship pension benefits under the Employees’ Compensation Program (ECP) which is being administered by the ECC, an attached agency of the DOLE.

“We reached out to the families of the 44 SAF members who died during the Mamasapano incident through the efforts of the ECC’s Regional Extension Units (REUs) and were able to expeditiously process and release their benefits with the help of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS),” Baldoz said.

Executive Director Banawis reported to Sec. Baldoz that the GSIS, the administering agency of the ECP for the public sector, paid a total amount of P880, 000 for the EC funeral benefits of the fallen 44 at P20, 000 per family, and P99, 755.49 in initial survivorship pension benefits.

The EC funeral benefits were released to the families of the SAF 44 after the ECC issued Board Resolution No. 15-02-05 dated 9 February 2015 directing the GSIS to immediately process and release the corresponding EC disability benefits to the wounded SAF 44 troopers and initial EC death benefits to the qualified beneficiaries of the fallen 44 troopers upon receipt of the names of the wounded and the names of the beneficiaries of the casualties from the Philippine National Police (PNP).

“All in all, 35 families have been receiving EC survivorship pension benefits, while the pension benefits for the remaining nine families are still being processed. We are awaiting submission of the required documents,” Banawis reported.

Secretary Baldoz explained that the amount of EC pension ranges from P706.50 to P3, 774.08 a month, depending on the salary of the individual SAF member, length of service, and number of minor dependents.

“Considering the young age of some members of the SAF 44, the minimum amount of EC pension may not be applicable, especially if the period of service is less than three years,” she added.

Baldoz added that the ECC Quick Response Team had visited most of the families of the SAF 44, including the 15 wounded SAF members who were brought to the hospital. During these visits, the ECC Quick Response Team brought with them bags of groceries and more importantly, information about the ECP.

The Employees’ Compensation Program (ECP) is a social insurance program of the government designed to provide private and public sector workers and/or their beneficiaries with income benefits in the event of work-related sickness, injury, or death.

The ECP also covers uniformed personnel such as members of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) although they are not covered members of the GSIS.