Tuesday, May 24, 2016

ECC kicks off nationwide advocacy seminars in Bicol
By Jorge Hallare

LEGAZPI CITY, May 20 (PNA) -- The Employees' Compensation Commission (ECC) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) started its first of a series of advocacy seminars on Thursday in Tabaco City.

Lawyer Jonathan T. Villasoto, ECC deputy executive director, said the seminar aims to raise the awareness of both the employers and the employees on the additional benefits that have long been given to the latter but many of them still do not know yet.

With Villasoto is Dr. Raymond C. BaƱaga, medical officer lll of the ECC's Work Contingency Prevention and Rehabilitation Division.

The employees compensation benefits under the ECC-DOLE has been implemented since the Marcos regime, particularly in 1975, through Presidential Decree 626, which implements a social security benefit programmed for the employees who get sick, meet accident, get injured or die in connection with their work.

These are added and separate benefits of the employees, aside from the Social Security System and the Government Service and Insurance system benefits, Villasoto clarified.

The ECC benefits are separate from those of the SSS and the GSIS since the funds came from the Php10 and Php30 being contributed monthly by the employers, depending on the salary of the employee, he said.

The ECC official explained that once an employee establishes an employer-employee relationship with the owner of the business establishment, even he has not yet contributed to the SSS or GSIS, he is already automatically a member of the ECC and already qualified to get additional benefits even just on the first day of his being an employee, if he meets an accident, gets sick or dies.

Even an employee is not yet a member of the SSS and the employer has not yet paid the initial SSS contribution, he can already get a claim as an employment compensation benefit beneficiary or else the employer will be held liable for neglect, Villasoto added.

He cited the claims under the ECC as loss of income wherein the cause of temporary total disability or sickness benefit is cited.

The employee is entitled to a sick leave of 120 days with a compensation of Php200 per day or equivalent to 90 percent of the average daily salary being given by the employer; permanent total disability (PTD) and permanent partial disability (PPD) which have a corresponding payment from the ECC fund coming from the monthly contributions of the employer.

There is also a career allowance where the pensioners in both the private and public sectors will be given a supplemental pension of Php 575 per month if they experience work-connected permanent partial and permanent total disabilities.

Under the medical benefit an ECC member can reimburse expenses for medicines, medical care, hospital care, surgical expenses and other related expenses.

The death and funeral benefits extend Php20,000 to the family of a dead member.

ECC also offers rehabilitation benefit to the member-employee.

Employee-beneficiaries have three years from the time they get sick to claim the benefits or for the relatives, three years from the death of the ECC member.

Villasoto said the ECC has now a total fund of Php32.9 billion for the private sector members and Php17.6 billion for the government employees.

He said they decided to go around the country to explain these benefits, which many employees and workers do not know yet even the program has been in place for a long time.

The ECC also plans to set up ECC offices in the DOLE regional and provincial offices to make employees aware of these benefits.

The government sector members include the members of the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippine, Philippine Air Force, Philippine Navy and their civilian personnel. (PNA) PGL/FGS/JH/CBD/eds