ECC: Enough funds for cash aid to pensioners
ECC executive director Stella Banawis said that a fund of more than P600 million is available and ready for the distribution of cash assistance to about 31,000 beneficiaries.

ECC: Enough funds for cash aid to pensioners

Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) - April 21, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Employees Compensation Commission (ECC) has given assurance that there are sufficient funds for the distribution of the P20,000 cash grant to pensioners.

ECC executive director Stella Banawis said that a fund of more than P600 million is available and ready for the distribution of cash assistance to about 31,000 beneficiaries.

“All ECC pensioners, not just private, but even from the government sector, who have had a permanent and partial disability will receive P20,000,” Banawis said in Filipino in a radio interview Monday night.

She noted that even survivor pensioners, or whose spouses have died due to work-related disability, are getting financial aid from ECC.

The Social Security System (SSS) and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Banawis said, will automatically release the grant to beneficiaries by the middle of the year.

Once the implementing rules are issued, the one-time financial assistance will be granted to all EC pensioners for permanent partial disability (PPD), permanent total disability (PTD) and survivorship through ECC’s implementing agencies: SSS for the private sector and GSIS for the public sector.

“There’s no need to apply with the SSS and GSIS which regularly releases the pension. So, the pension will automatically be released to the (recipient’s) bank or through whatever channel they receive their pension,” Banawis explained.

“The money is ready and it’s all a matter of processing. Just give us one or two months and the assistance can already be distributed to the beneficiaries,” she added.

The proposal to provide a one-time cash grant to ECC pensioners has been under discussion since last year and was finally approved by President Duterte on Monday.

The Commission also moved for the granting of three-month advance EC (Employees Compensation) pension, interruption of the prescriptive period for the filing of EC claims during pandemic, epidemic or public health emergency and other fortuitous events and the granting of EC funeral benefit to the qualified beneficiaries of covered members who died of work-related causes despite the absence of proof of expenses for funeral services.

The ECC is mandated to implement the Employees’ Compensation Program which provides a package of benefits for public and private sector employees and their dependents in the event of work-connected sickness, injury, disability or death. In addition, the ECC may also upgrade and add new benefits, subject to the approval of the President.

PWD needs

Meanwhile, Sen. Bong Go urged the government to further consider other interventions and strengthen efforts to address the needs and concerns of persons With disabilities (PWDs).

To support PWDs amid the pandemic, Go stressed the need to ensure access to public health measures and services. He also emphasized the need to promote inclusivity and equity in the government’s efforts and responses to COVID-19.

“In this time of the pandemic, the government should only intensify its support to PWDs because they are one of the most affected by the social and economic impacts of COVID-19,” Go said.

He also urged the private sector to provide reasonable work arrangements for their employees with disabilities and conduct reasonable adjustments in the work place to protect their welfare.

“Let us not neglect our fellow PWDs. Let us fulfill our promise to them that no Filipino will be left behind on the path to the country’s ascent from COVID-19,” Go added.

Go also lauded President Duterte for issuing Administrative Order No. 39 which grants one-time financial assistance of P20,000 to EC pensioners.

“The pandemic has a big negative impact on our countrymen with disabilities, especially those pensioners whose lives are affected due to community quarantine restrictions,” said Go.

The senator also emphasized the need to ensure that government offices and their services are PWD-friendly. He also asked the government to improve the delivery of its services by using assistive technology that would further improve the access of Filipinos with disabilities to public services. – Cecille Suerte Felipe

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