The Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) recently granted additional EC disability benefits to a miner retiree due to lumbar spine disease in relation to his previous work related disease.
For almost 28 years, Henario Guiniawan worked for a mining company in Itogon, Benguet as a miner and an underground general electrician responsible for the repair, maintenance, and installation of electrical equipment, such as generators, transformers and machineries, at the mine site.
Sometime in April 1996 while working, Guiniawan experienced severe back pain after lifting a heavy iron beam at his work-place. In February 1997, he was admitted at the Saint Louis University Sacred Heart Hospital due to severe back pain and was diagnosed with Lumbar Disc disease.
The Social Security System (SSS) found Guiniawan’s illness work related and was granted 16 months Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) benefits which took effect in July 1997. He retired in December 2012 at age 60.
In August of 2015, Guiniawan was admitted at the Notre Dame de Chartres Hospital in Baguio City due to hypertension, hearing loss and lower back pain. During the physical examination, it was noted that he can walk normally but had difficulty in jumping and jogging due to weakness and pain. Upon discharge from the hospital, Guiniawan filed for additional EC disability benefits.
However, his additional claim for benefits was denied by the SSS on the ground that there was no noted permanent impairment of body functions or progression of his illness.
On appeal, the ECC ruled in favor of Guiniawan because his current condition arose from his work-related injury in 1997.
Thus, the ECC decided to grant Guiniawan additional 22 months of EC PPD or P44,000 compensation benefits in accordance with the EC Schedule of compensation on spine but his claim for hypertension, cervical disc disorder and hearing loss was denied on the grounds of no causal relationship and/or no employer-employee relationship.
The ECC, an agency attached to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), reviews cases denied by the SSS and GSIS on appeal.
END/ECC/Abegail De Vega