MANILA, Philippines – The Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) has set aside around P600 million fund for the implementation of the one-time P20,000 assistance to vulnerable pensioners of the Social Security System (SSS) and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said.
In a statement, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the fund will benefit around 31,000 pensioners consisting of both private and public sector workers.
The ECC is an attached agency of the DOLE and Bello chairs the commission.
Bello’s announcement came after President Rodrigo Duterte signed Monday Administrative Order (AO) No. 39, which grants a one-time financial assistance to all Employees’ Compensation (EC) program pensioners for permanent partial disability (PPD), permanent total disability (PTD), and survivorship through ECC’s implementing agencies, Social Security System (SSS) for the private sector, and Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) for the public sector, once the implementing rules and regulations has been issued.
In signing the AO, Duterte recognized that the “adverse effects of the pandemic on the economy, supplementary health necessities for the battle against the virus, and restrictions imposed on our mobility and social interaction, have increased the financial and health burdens experienced by the EC pensioners.”
The ECC, SSS, and the GSIS have been tasked to set aside and release appropriate funding to cover the financial assistance from the Social Insurance Fund under the EC Program.
“This is great news for all EC pensioners who are further thrown into deep financial hardships made worse by the Covid pandemic. This attests to the President’s soft spot for the poor and the vulnerable,” Bello said.
ECC Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis, for her part, said that all qualified pensioners do not need to apply to the GSIS or SSS, as it will be automatically granted to them in the same manner as their pension was processed.