The Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC), an agency under the Department of Labor and Employment, is strengthening its efforts to promote awareness on employees’ compensation program (ECP) in MIMAROPA by conducting a one-day free-of-charge seminar for more than 150 employers, human resource and administrative officers, and labor union representatives from both public and private sectors at Hue Hotel on Tuesday, January 29.
ECC already has 28 million members and the coverage of the ECP starts on the first day of employment. It covers all workers in the formal sectors, employees in the private sector who are compulsory members of the Social Security System (SSS) with the employer-employee relationship. SSS and GSIS are the implementing agencies assigned to process the EC claims.
The Employees’ Compensation Program (ECP) is a government program intended to provide a compensation package to public and private sector employees or their dependents in the event of work-related sickness, injury, disability, or death.
Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis explained, “Ang hindi pa po covered ng ECC ay yung mga self-employed workers but we have already done an actuarial study through SSS to cover them and the fund allows it to be covered. Ang hindi pa po namin covered ay ang land-based OFW’s, ang covered namin ay sea-based or seafearers na lumalabas abroad.”
She also added, “Inaantay po namin na ma-approve yung bagong SSS law na for signature na ni President Duterte. Kapag naapprove na po iyon, covered na din po lahat ng land-based OFW’s dahil mandatory na sa lahat ng OFW’s ang SSS so kapag mandatory po sa SSS mandatory na din po sa amin.”
She also mentioned in the press conference that the total assets of ECC as of September is already P62 billion and it keeps on increasing because few members know about the ECP who claims their benefits.
She said in a press briefing held on the day before the day-long free seminar that they are doing an advocacy program regularly in different regions and they ask the help of media in disseminating the information about the Employees’ Compensation Program (ECP) as well as the latest ECC policies and increases.
Zipagan-Banawis further said, “Ang fund namin is more than 63 years and 50 years and every time we are ask for an an actuarial evaluation or an actuarial study from SSS to be able to increase our benefits palaging nakalagay doon sa aming fund life in perpetuity or beyond 2018.”
The revenues of ECC comes from contribution and investment income because SSS and GSIS invest the ECC fund and currently the ECC already has a revenue of P7.5 billion as of 2017 and the benefits paid is only about P1.3 billion a year.
ECC is present in 14 regional extension units and the number of claims (not the claimants) for ECP is about 285,000 in 2017 and 290,000 in 2016. There are only about 60,000 individual claimants every year.
EC is a purely employer-based contribution benefit. Thus, employees do not contribute any amount to the program.
“Hindi po tayo nagbabayad ng premium kaya yun po yung isang reason why hindi alam na may ECC, ang nagbabayad po kasi ng ECC Premium ay ang employer lang, for government employees ang gobyerno ang nagbabayad ng 100 pesos per employee per month. For the private sectors it’s a from 10 pesos to 30 pesos lang po every month ang employer po ang nagbabayad. Hindi po makakabayad ng SSS or GSIS kung hindi kasama yung EC na premium,” Zipagan-Banawis said.
Through the ECP Advocacy Seminar, the ECC informs employees of their rights, benefits and privileges, and also the employers, their responsibilities under the ECP. During the seminars, they discussed the three components of the ECP, which includes prevention, compensation and rehabilitation services.
The benefits provided by Employees’ Compensation Program under the Presidential Decree No. 626 are as follows: (http://bwc.dole.gov.ph/images/Handbook/HandbookonWorkersStatutoryMonetaryBenefits2018Edition.pdf)
Loss of income benefits; cash benefit is given to a worker to compensate for lost income due to his or her inability to work. There are types of Disability covered by ECP; those are Temporary Total Disability (TTD), Permanent Total Disability (PTD) and the Permanent Partial Disability.
Medical benefits include the reimbursement of 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 where necessary. The medical services are limited toward services of an accredited hospital.
Rehabilitation services which include physical therapy, vocational training, and special assistance provided to employees who sustain a disability as a result of sickness or injury arising out of employment. The objective is to develop the workers’ mental, vocational, and social potential and to help them remain as productive members of society.
Carer’s allowance is provided to an employee who suffers from a work-connected permanent partial and permanent total disability.
Death and Funeral benefits which are granted to beneficiaries of an employee in the event of work-connected death. Death benefits are also granted to the beneficiaries in cases where the cause of the employee is a complication or natural consequence of his/ her compensated permanent total disability.
Stella Zipagan-Banawis said that the death and funeral benefits of ECP increased from P10 ,000 to P30,000 and they intend to increase it again to P40,000. ECP also gives free prosthesis, free skills training, livelihood, and starter kits up to P30,000 per individual.
“Social Security is a basic human right, kung hindi po ibinibigay sa atin ng gobyerno ang ganitong klaseng programa yun po ay violation ng human right natin so sana mas maraming nakakaalam ng programa naming dito sa Palawan para po mas maganda ang social protection ang naibibigay natin sa mga kababayan natin dito sa Palawan”she added.