Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said the Employees Compensation Commission (ECC), an attached agency of the DOLE, has facilitated the release of P1.44 million in EC funeral benefits to 72 beneficiaries of the tragic Kentex fire accident and P114, 572 in EC survivorship pension benefits to the fire accident survivors.
“ECC Executive Director Stella Banawis reported to me of the payments of these benefits after the ECC issued Board Resolution No. 15-05-21 on 18 May 2015 directing the Social Security System (SSS) to immediately process and release the corresponding benefits,” said Baldoz.
In her report, Banawis said the ECC used as basis of the resolution the final certified list of 74 victims of the fire accident endorsed by the local government unit of Valenzuela City.
Only 72 of the 74 beneficiaries were paid because two of them have not yet been interviewed by the SSS since they are not interested to file claims,” Banawis said in her report.
She further said that of the nine EC survivorship pension claims filed by the families of the Kentex fire victims, five have already received initial payout amounting to P114, 572.52.
Meanwhile, the SSS has also paid P1.42 million in SSS funeral benefits to 71 of the 74 beneficiaries at P20,000 each, and P386,320.01 in SSS survivorship pension to 10 beneficiaries, according to Banawis.
She also said that the ECC Quick Response Team paid home visits to the families of the victims and distributed grocery items to 65 families. This home visits, led by ECC Deputy Executive Director Jonathan Villasoto, were meant to inform and educate the families of the fire victims on EC programs and services.
On the other hand, Director Banawis said PAG-IBIG had also paid P66,000 in PAG-IBIG funeral benefits to 11 beneficiaries, or P6,000 each, and refunded PAG-IBIG contributions to the 11 amounting to P151,080.27.
Baldoz said the DOLE remains focused on assisting the families of the Kentex fire accident through the CAMANAVA Field Office of the DOLE-NCR, which has provided P10,000 worth of livelihood grants to each of the beneficiaries and the survivors as well.
“One of our principal concerns is to see to it that the surviving loved ones of the victims quickly recover emotionally and materially from this unforeseen tragedy, hence we are doing our work as is our mandate,” she said.