The Employees Compensation Commission, an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment, has already released a total of P860,000 funeral benefits to the families of the 44 Special Action Force officers, known as SAF 44, who were killed in the Mamasapano encounter, and has started releasing the initial pension to beneficiaries totalling to P99,755.49.
In an update report to Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, Employees’ Compensation Commission Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis said aside from the funeral benefits, 35 families already received their Employees Compensation survivorship pension benefits. The nine others have not yet received the said pension due to legal issues, which she said are being resolved.
Baldoz recalled that the ECC was one of the first government agencies that have responded to the benefits claims of the SAF 44. “The ECC’s earliest release of the pension to a beneficiary was on 2 February 2015,” Baldoz said.
Banawis reported that the ECC acted with dispatch in facilitating the release of benefits to the families of the SAF 44, first, by issuing ECC Board Resolution No. 15-02-05 dated 9 February 2015 under which it directed the GSIS to immediately process and release the corresponding EC disability benefits to the wounded SAF troopers, and funeral as well as death benefits to the qualified beneficiaries of the fallen Special Action Force officers.
The ECC Central Office and Regional Extension Units also met with the families as part of the agency’s Quick Response Program for the Mamasapano incident.
With the response program immediately implemented, the EC started releasing the funeral benefits as early as February, with the first release made on the 16th of that month to a beneficiary in Region 1, while the last recipient, who is from Region X, received it on3 March 2015.
The amount of EC monthly pension, which was released starting 26 February 2015, depends on the SAF members’ salary, length of service, and the number of children dependents who are entitled to receive an additional 10 percent of the monthly income benefit.