COVID-19 now considered 'compensable' work-related disease: DOLE

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 29 2021 11:25 AM | Updated as of Apr 29 2021 02:24 PM

COVID-19 now considered 'compensable' work-related disease: DOLE 1
Residents follow triage procedures at the barangay health center as they process their ‘ return to work forms’ at Barangay Pio Del Pilar in Makati City on March 15, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - Filipino workers who test positive for COVID-19 will be eligible to receive compensation from the government after the disease was included in the list of occupational and work-related diseases, the Labor Department said Thursday.

The board of the Employee's Compensation Commission (ECC) approved the inclusion of COVID-19 to the list which entitled workers sick of COVID-19 to the compensation, the DOLE said in a statement.

The ECC issued Board Resolution No. 21-04-14 on April 6, specifying conditions for the compensability of COVID-19 under Annex A of the Amended Rules on Employees' Compensation, said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello, who also chairs the ECC.

The Commission earlier requested the Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC) to study the possibility of inclusion of the disease on the list which the OSHC affirmed, DOLE said.

"Considering the OSHC’s recommendations and after deliberations with the Department of Labor and Employment and various labor and employer groups, Bello added that the Commission has moved that CoViD-19 be considered an occupational and work-related disease," the statement said.

The Social Security System and the Government Service Insurance System are the administering agencies of the ECC and in the implementation of its compensation policies, the Labor Department said.

“The ECC is continuously working to improve its policies and services to better serve the Filipino workers, especially during this trying time. We will persist to find ways and come up with measures that will mobilize assistance and respond to the crises brought by the CoViD-19 pandemic,” ECC Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis said.

Currently, there are 33 illnesses in the List of Occupational and Work-related diseases.
 
The DOLE did not specify, however, terms and conditions on the implementation or claims of the compensation.