The Department of Labor and Employment announced that COVID-19 has been included in the list of occupational and work-related diseases.
The Employees’ Compensation Commission announced that workers should, however, meet the conditions specified by the commission, including a “direct connection between the offending agent or event and the worker based on epidemiologic criteria and occupational risk.”
This means that healthcare workers, screening and contact tracing teams, among others are qualified to receive compensation if they were infected by the disease.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello included COVID-19 in the list following recommendations by various groups, including labor organizations.
The Associated Labor Unions and the Building and Woodworkers International have earlier asked the commission to prescribe that COVID-19 is a “compensable disease” and to allow workers afflicted by disease full access to income loss benefit and other package of services.
To apply for the benefits, workers are asked to submit the following: certificate of employment, diagnosis with RT-PCR result, submission of evidence of exposure, medical records as necessary.
“We recognize the risk of those who courageously and willingly put their lives on the line as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Stella Zipagan-Banawis, executive director of the commission.