COVID-19 now a compensable work-related disease in the Philippines

The Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) has included COVID-19 in its list of occupational and work-related diseases.
By: | May 3, 2021

Under a recent board resolution of the Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC), an attached agency of DOLE, employees who have contracted the virus can now be compensated if they meet specific requirements.

“Considering the OSHC’s (Occupational Safety and Health Center) recommendations and after deliberations with the Department of Labor and Employment and various labour and employer groups, (Labour Secretary Silvestre) Bello added that the Commission has moved that COVID-19 be considered an occupational and work-related disease,” the ECC said in a statement. 

The conditions for compensability of COVID-19 are: 

  • There must be a direct connection between the offending agent or event and the worker based on epidemiologic criteria and occupational risk.
  • The tasks assigned to the worker would require frequent face-to-face and close-proximity interactions with the public or with confirmed cases for healthcare workers.
  • Transmission occurred in the workplace.
  • Transmission occurred while commuting to and from work.

To claim the benefits, employees are required to submit the following: certificate of employment, diagnosis with RT-PCR result, submission of evidence of exposure, medical records as necessary, according to CNN Philippines. 

Bello said an employee affected by COVID-19 will be receiving PHP30,000 (US$620). 

READ: Philippines to give COVID-19 vaccines to minimum wage earners and OFWs

“It will become a compensable illness. The usual compensation on work-related illness is PHP10,000 (US$207), but if it’s COVID-19, PHP30,000 (US$620) under this ECC resolution,” he said. “There is no distinction (mild or severe), if it’s COVID, the compensation will be PHP30,000 (US$620). If the patient needs operation or additional hospitalisation, PhilHealth is there,” reported Philippine News Agency.