Bello mulls larger compensation for work-related diseases

Bello is considering higher compensation for work-related illnesses

Mayen Jaymalin (The Filipino Star) – December 21, 2020 – 12:00 PM

MANILA, Philippines – In addition to kasambahay or house helpers, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is also aiming for higher compensation for employees who may be suffering from work-related illness or injury.

Labor Minister Silvestre Bello has called on the Employees Compensation Commission (ECC) to increase the existing compensation for work-related injuries and illnesses.

In a virtual briefing last Thursday, Bello reported that the ECC released pesetas 827 million in compensation for about 80,000 workers this year.

He said the ECC has also paid a total of pesetas 20.7 million in cash to 2,000 frontliners who fell ill or died as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But Bello said the compensation paid to frontliners – and other workers injured or died in the performance of their duties – was “too little”.

“Look at ECC. You have 90 billion pesetas. Do you know how ECC increased its money? They give very little to workers. Imagine we’re talking about workers’ compensation, ”remarked Bello in Filipino.

“How much do you give? P10.000. You can’t even buy drugs (with it), Susmaryosep. It should be more, ”added Bello.

With ECC’s 90 billion pesetas fund deposited with banks and earning a lot of interest, Bello said the commission should provide higher compensation.

“The money is languishing at the bank. Profits (ECC) are high, but they deny workers even the slightest benefit, ”said Bello.

Bello proposed to the ECC that workers who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses receive compensation of at least 50,000 pesetas.

ECC is tasked with providing employees from the public and private sector with a compensation package in the event of work-related contingent liabilities.

The labor chief had previously asked the National Wages and Productivity Commission to consider setting P6,000 as the minimum wage for home helpers across the country.

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