by Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star), 6 Mar 2020
MANILA, Philippines — The Employees Compensation Commission (ECC) said the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can be considered work-related illness and thus compensable.
ECC executive director Stella Banawis said an employee may apply for employees’ compensation (EC) benefits in case he or she acquires COVID-19 at work.
An attached agency of the Department of labor and Employment (DOLE), EEC was established to provide workers with income in case of work-connected sickness, injury or death.
“In the event an employee acquires the virus, it can be compensable under the EC Program through Increased Risk Theory provided that it was obtained by the employee in the performance of his or her employment,” Banawis explained.
Banawis cited as example the health workers involved in the treatment of COVID-19 patients and the crew of a luxury liner that tested positive for the coronavirus.
“They can file an EC claim since they acquired the virus in the course of their employment,” Banawis noted.
She, however, urged employees nationwide to be cautious so they could avoid getting infected with the virus.
The DOLE previously ordered all companies to provide relevant information about COVID-19 to their employees.
Establishments were also encouraged to determine needed adjustment in work schemes and take immediate precautionary measures for the protection of their employees.
“There are simple actions that we can do to prevent the spread of the virus such as avoiding close contact with people who are sick and touching our eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands,” Banawis said.
DOLE officials had reported that the government is preparing for the spread of COVID-19 and assisting citizens who might get infected with the deadly virus.