DOLE chief: SAF 44 kin given P979k in benefits
Rosette Adel ( - January 20, 2016 - 2:24am

MANILA, Philippines – Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Rosalinda Dimalipis-Baldos on Wednesday said all the families of the 44 members of the Philippine National Police’s Special Action Force (SAF), killed in Mamasapano encounter received P979,755.49 Employees Compensation (EC) benefits.

Baldos, also the chair of the EC Board of Trustees, said the benefits received by the SAF 44 families include funeral and survivorship pension benefits under the Employees’ Compensation Program (ECP) or the social insurance program of the government.

These benefits were administered by DOLE’s attached agency, Employees’ Commission Commission (ECC), and was reported by ECC Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis.

“We reached out to the families of the 44 SAF members who died during the Mamasapano incident through the efforts of the ECC’s Regional Extension Units (REUs) and were able to expeditiously process and release their benefits with the help of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS),” Baldoz said.

In ECC’s report, Banawis said the GSIS, the administering agency of the ECP for the public sector, paid P880,000 for the EC funeral benefits of the SAF 44. The funeral benefit is equivalent to P20,000 per family and were released to the SAF families after the ECC issued Board Resolution 15-02-05 on Feb. 9, 2015.

The board resolution ordered the GSIS to immediately process and release the corresponding EC disability benefits to the wounded SAF 44 members and initial EC death benefits to the qualified beneficiaries of the slain 44 upon receipt of the names of the wounded and the names of the beneficiaries of the casualties from the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Apart from the funeral benefits, there is also an initial survivorship pension benefits given to 35 families for a total of P99,755.49 each while the nine others will receive benefits after theirs are processed.

“All in all, 35 families have been receiving EC survivorship pension benefits, while the pension benefits for the remaining nine families are still being processed. We are awaiting submission of the required documents,” Banawis said.

Baldoz said the amount of EC pension depends on the salary, length of service and number of minor dependents of the individual SAF member. It usually ranges from P706.50 to 3,774.08 a month.

“Considering the young age of some members of the SAF 44, the minimum amount of EC pension may not be applicable, especially if the period of service is less than three years,” Baldoz said.

The DOLE chief said the ECC Quick Response Team visited and brought bags of grocery and discussed the ECP with most of the families of SAF 44 as well as the 15 wounded SAF members brought to the hospital.

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