DOLE releases benefits to injured Ilonggo seaman

An Ilonggo seaman who suffered back injury as ship maintenance in charge of OSM Maritime Services, received benefits from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) through its Employees Compensation Program.

The 45-year old seaman, whose name was not divulged by DOLE Region 6 Office, is from the Municipality of Sta. Barbara, Iloilo. He has availed of

Php47,928.45 in the form of benefits under the Employees’ Compensation Program.

According to Amalia Judicpa, DOLE-6 Public Information Officer, the seaman had an accident in 2005 when he lifted several drums of Bitumen weighing 15-18kgs each. For three weeks, he suffered pain on his lower back and had taken medication to minimize the pain. He visited a medical doctor in Texas, USA in 2006 where he was advised to rest for 15 days. He underwent another check-up in Holland, where he was declared unfit to work.

One month later after returning to the Philippines in January 26, 2016, he underwent a spinal surgery at the Manila Medical Center. Days after his first operation, he was advised to undergo a second surgery but he refused due to the small chance of bringing him back to his normal condition. He thus settled for therapies as one option to recover from such injury.

He underwent series of therapy sessions at the West Visayas State University Medical Center, one of the partner hospitals of the Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) where he learned about the Employees’ Compensation Program (ECP).

Upon learning his case, the ECC personnel in Iloilo City visited and enrolled him for free physical therapy sessions, and encouraged him to attend a livelihood training under the Katulong at Gabay sa Manggagawang may Kapansanan (KaGabay) Program.

Despite his situation, the seaman still hopes to recover from his injury in order to continue providing for the needs of his family.

This seaman is only one of the 30 injured overseas Filipino and local workers in Western Visayas who have availed of the benefits from the ECC due to work-related accidents.

According to Executive Director Stella Z. Banawis, ECC helps persons with work-related disability. “We do not only provide income support but also rehabilitation benefits which will uplift the life of PWRDs and return back their confidence to live a normal life again. We assure prompt and accessible provision of these benefits through our Regional Extension Units and through our quality-assured partner hospitals.”*