The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has urged workers who were initially denied of their claim for compensation benefits to appeal their cases before the Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC).
ECC is an attached agency of DOLE which provides a package of benefits for public and private sector employees and their dependents for work-related sickness, injury, disability or death.
In a report to Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III, the ECC said two workers who suffered from work-related health illnesses have recently been awarded compensation benefits despite disapproval by the Social Security System (SSS) and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).
They were Susana Bonode, 56 years old from Boac, Marinduque, an agriculturist at the Provincial Agriculture Office of the Provincial Government of Marinduque, and Erlinda Isican who works as a Production Specialist for a semiconductor company in Baguio City.
The report said Bonode had initially sought medical consultation due to Urinary Tract Infection and Hypercholesterolemia. Her job entailed her to travel to different places from September to November 2015. She conducted data gathering, encoding, analysis, as well as defending of project outcomes before the World Bank representatives for funding assistance purposes.
On December 1, 2015, while on her way to the Manila Grand Opera Hotel to attend the MIMAROPA Regional Conference on Provincial Commodity Investment Plan, Bonode was rushed to the Metropolitan Hospital in Manila and diagnosed to have Coronary Artery Disease Acute Myocardial Infarction.
She filed a claim at the GSIS Lucena Branch but it was denied which led her to appeal before the ECC.
ECC conducted an investigation and found that Bonode’s three months of straight official travel weakened her resistance and affected her physical condition, especially at her age, as well as her previous history of heart ailment.
The ECC ordered the GSIS to grant Bonode EC disability benefits plus reimbursement of medical expenses due to her coronary artery disease.
On Isican’s case, between months of February and March 2016, she underwent blood and audiogram examination where it was discovered that she has a Spinal Arthritis and coronary heart disease.
In April 2016, Isican filed a claim for disability benefits at the SSS Baguio Branch but her claim was denied. This prompted Isican appeal before the ECC.
ECC has overturned the SSS decision and ordered it to grant benefits and reimbursement of medical expenses for Isican’s succeeding consultations due to Spinal Arthritis. ECC said chronic posture and repetitive task completion in the semiconductor industry is prevalent and can cause manifestation of musculoskeletal disorders.
Meantime, workers with the same cases or have been denied in claiming compensation benefits are advised to go to the nearest ECC offices in their area or call the ECC Public Assistance Center at telephone number: (02) 8967837 or email at [email protected].
#Paul Ang with reports from ECC