The victims of the fire disaster that razed Kentex Manufacturing Corporation in Valenzuela City may claim employee compensation benefits even if they are not enrolled with the Social Security System (SSS), Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said.
Baldoz issued the statement following the DOLE’s probe on the occupational safety and health and general labor standards aspects of the fire accident involving the rubber slipper manufacturer which claimed the lives of 72 workers.
“I assure the worker-victims that as long as there is an employer-employee relationship, a worker can file an employees’ compensation claim from any SSS branch,” Baldoz said, calling on all Kentex Manufacturing Corporation employee-workers who survived the blaze to come out in the open and visit the DOLE office in CAMANAVA located at 5th Floor Araneta Square Center, Monumento Circle, Caloocan City, and register their names as Kentex employees.
Employees Compensation Commission (ECC) Executive Director Stella Banawis confirmed this, saying that even if the worker-victims were not SSS members, they can still file claims under the Employees’ Compensation Program.
Yesterday, Executive Director Banawis said the ECC’s Quick Response Team has visited 15 families of the fire victims to condole with the families and console them, inform them about their ECC benefits, and instruct them on how to claim these benefits. Members of the team also distributed grocery bags to the families.
“We also have personnel at the one-stop shop set up by the Valenzuela City local government unit to dialogue with the families and entertain their queries,” she said.
Earlier, Secretary Baldoz has instructed Executive Director Banawis to dispatch an ECC Quick Response Team to families of the workers who died during the fire incident to assist them in the filing and claiming of their EC benefits.
A coordinating mechanism is in place in the DOLE-NCR as to the granting of livelihood training and assistance for the survivors of the blaze.
The other day, DOLE-NCR Alex Avila informed some worker-survivors whom he invited to a dialogue that the DOLE could offer them livelihood grants, if they want, provided they could identify and determine the possible livelihood undertaking and submit a proposal.