Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said that employees who died, or were injured, in the fire incident that destroyed the Kentex Manufacturing Corporation facility in Valenzuela City the other day are entitled to benefits under the Employees Compensation Program of the Employees Compensation Commission, an attached agency of the DOLE.

“They should file claims for corresponding benefits and we will assist them in facilitating their claims,” Baldoz said.

Under Presidential Decree No. 626, or the State Insurance Fund, a sickness and a resulting disability, or death, to be compensable, must be the result of accident arising out of and in the course of the employment. In short, it should be work-related.

Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis of the Employees Compensation Commission, in a report to the Secretary, said the injured victims of the fire accident may claim (1) loss of income benefits and (2) medical reimbursements.

“On the other hand, the families of those who died may claim funeral and death benefits,” she reported.

Under the Employees Compensation Program, a worker who was unable to work because of a work-related injury is entitled to receive cash benefit to compensate for loss of income.

For medical benefits, workers will be reimbursed for the cost of medicine for the illness or injury; payments to providers of medical care; hospital care; surgical expenses; and the costs of appliances and supplies that they availed from accredited hospitals.

For those who suffered permanent partial, or total, disability arising out of the fire accident, the ECC will provide carer’s allowance, the extent of which is such that he could not attend to his basic personal needs on his own.

“Once the EC claim has been approved, the claimant is qualified to enrol under the Katulong at Gabay sa Manggagawang may Kapansanan (KaGabay),” Banawis added.

The KaGabay offers free physical restoration services, which refers to the provision of  physical or occupational therapy services, including assistive devices, such as prosthesis, hearing aid, braces, and wheelchair, to name a few.

It also offers skills training for re-employment so that the worker can acquire new competencies or skills, but subject to his potential and residual functional capacity. KaGabay also offers entrepreneurship training to enable the worker to set up home-based business.

“The families of those who died as a result of the said fire incident are entitled to receive funeral benefits worth P20,000 and death benefits, in the form of monthly pension. This is granted to the surviving spouse and a maximum of five dependent children of the said worker,” Banawis said.

Banawis also added that once all missing employees are accounted for, the ECC Quick Response Team (QRT) will be dispatched to provide psycho-social counseling to their families. QRT members assist and guide worker-victims and their families in the processing of their EC claim,” Banawis said.

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