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Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is now listed as a “compensable disease”.

Bello said the Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC), an attached agency of DOLE, included COVID-19 in its list of occupational and world-related diseases through Board Resolution No. 21-04-14.

“Now, therefore, on motion duly made and seconded, this Commission resolves, as it [is] hereby resolved to include the conditions for the compensability of COVID-19,” the Resolution read.

Covered by Employees Compensation (EC) grant are workers affected by COVID-19 during the pandemic period.

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Claimants are required to submit the following documents: certificate of employment from the employer, indicating last day of reporting to work; reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test result showing positive COVID-19 from any Department of Health (DOH)-accredited testing facility; medical records as appropriate; and application forms.

“In Annex A, PD No. 626, as amended as follows: Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19)-clinically diagnosed and consistent with the history, and signs and symptoms of Covid-19 supported by diagnostic proof to include reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is compensable in any of the following conditions: a) There must be a direct connection between the offending agent or event and the worker based on epidemiologic criteria and occupational risk (e.g. healthcare workers, screening and contact teams tracing team; b) The tasks assigned to the worker would require frequent face-to-face and close proximity interactions with the public or with confirmed cases for health care workers; c) Transmission occurred in the workplace; or d) Transmission occurred while commuting to and from,” the resolution added.

Bello said an employee affected by COVID-19 will be receiving PHP30,000.

“It will become a compensable illness. The usual compensation on work-related illness is P10,000 but if it’s COVID-19, P30,000 under this ECC resolution,” he said. “There is no distinction (mild or severe), if it’s Covid, the compensation will be P30,000. If the patient needs an operation or additional hospitalization, PhilHealth is there,” he said. (PNA)

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