Labor lawyer stresses importance of quit claim, waiver for benefits


MANILA, Philippines – A former Department of Labor and Employment inspector and now regional labor attorney emphasized that only the parents, as lawful beneficiaries, can claim the death benefits of a deceased employee of a company who died on duty.

On the other hand, siblings cannot claim company benefits without presenting sufficient documents to prove that they are blood-related, according to labor lawyer Atty. Lorraine Macasa-Meneses of the Associated Labor Unions (ALU) in Southern Mindanao.

"Usually, the management requests for the birth certificate of the deceased if the parents will be the claimants. If the claimant is the sibling, the company will rightfully ask for an affidavit or maybe birth certificate that shows they have the same parents," she said.

Meneses also said that families of deceased should not maliciously interpret the financial benefit being given by the company as bribe and the waiver as an agreement being forced upon by the management against the family in case the latter wants to seek litigations on the death of their relative.

"The management, as a lawful procedure, should require the claimant to execute a quit claim and waiver. This will show proof that the benefits due to the employee whose death was work-related has been properly compensated," the lawyer added.

The lawyer cited the case of Joel Walawala, an employee of the Apex Mining Company in Mindanao, who died in an accident while on duty.

"There is nothing wrong with executing a quit claim for an employee whose death was work-related, as this only serves as a sort of defense for the management that has ostensibly given the due benefits of the deceased," she added.

Eva Walawala, sister of the deceased, insisted that she is the rightful beneficiary to receive the benefits from the company, but she refused to provide documents and would not sign the quit claim, and even telling local media that she is being bribed by the management.

Without presenting sufficient evidence and refusing to sign any document regarding the remaining claims of the deceased brother, there is no lawful recourse for the company but not to release the compensation to a person who could not legally prove that she is the rightful recipient of the financial benefit, the lawyer explained.

Under the law, the beneficiary of a deceased individual is entitled to receive financial benefits and that claimants should not misinterpret this as an act of bribery, as Walawala interprets the benefit being rightfully given to the family of the deceased, the lawyer said.

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