Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Tuesday, April 20, lauded President Duterte for issuing an administrative order, which grants a one-time financial assistance of P20,000 to Employees’ Compensation pensioners for permanent partial or total disability and survivorship, in both the private and public sectors.
The issuance of the Administrative Order (AO) No. 39 came after the Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) approved the proposal to grant the said assistance due to undue financial hardships and prolonged economic impact of the pandemic on the pensioners.
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 benefits and add new ones, subject to approval of the President.
Under the AO, the ECC will be authorized to grant a one-time financial assistance of P20,000 to EC pensioners for permanent partial disability, permanent total disability and survivorship, both in the private and public sectors.
Notably, the amounts necessary to cover the one-time financial assistance shall be sourced from the reserves of the EC State Insurance Fund that the Social Security System and Government Services Insurance System administer under the country’s EC Program.
The AO also directs the ECC, SSS and GSIS to issue the implementing rules and regulations for its effective implementation.
As the pandemic heightens the vulnerabilities of persons with disabilities, Go urged the government to further consider other interventions and strengthen efforts to address their needs and concerns.
To support persons with disability (PWDs) amid the pandemic, Go stressed the need to ensure accessibility of public health measures and services to them. He also emphasized the need to promote inclusivity and equity in the government’s efforts and responses to COVID-19.
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.
On the other hand, Go also urged the private sector to provide reasonable work arrangements for their employees with disabilities and conduct reasonable adjustments in the workplace to protect their welfare.