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Countless ways to help state workers

April 29, 2021 Mario Fetalino Jr. 283 views

WHAT’S good about the state pension fund is that it doesn’t run out of ways to help our needy government workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Just recently, the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) bared another measure to provide assistance to its constituents.

More than 12,000 Employee Compensation pensioners will get a total of P252 million or P20,000 in financial assistance each from GSIS.

The provision of the aid is in compliance with Administrative Order No. 39 recently signed by President Duterte.

President Rodrigo Duterte has directed the grant of a one-time financial assistance to all EC pensioners, as they experience undue financial hardships because of their vulnerabilities, and in anticipation of the prolonged economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their lives.

EC pensioners are former government employees who retired early due to work-related sickness, injury or disability and availed of benefits under Presidential Decree No. 626. EC survivorship pensioners are spouses of EC pensioners who died, GSIS President and General Manager Rolando Ledesma Macasaet clarified.

Under Presidential Decree No. 626, GSIS administers the EC Fund which is purely an employer-based contribution benefit.

The benefit is a compensation package for public and private sector employees and their dependents in the event of work-related injuries, sickness, disability or death.

The financial assistance was a recommendation of GSIS and Social Security System(SSS). SSS manages the EC fund for employees in the private sector.

GSIS is currently coordinating with the Employees Compensation Commission (ECC) and SSS to finalize the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the AO.

Granting will take effect immediately after the IRR publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines website or in a newspaper of general circulation.

I hope this assistance would reach the hands of the beneficiaries as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, the Department of Trade and Industry is also doing its share of relentless efforts to help our people survive the pandemic, especially at a time when the modified enhanced community quarantine or MECQ is in place in Metro Manila and other places near the metropolis.

Sure to bring hope for many workers, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez is recommending a flexible MECQ in the NCR Plus to gradually reopen labor-intensive sectors.

Lopez said the agency is eyeing to reopen personal care services with a limited capacity of 20 to 30 percent as well as dine-in services in food establishments by 10 to 20 percent.

The gradual reopening of the personal care and dine-in services was “partially discussed” with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases or IATF.

An estimated 200,000 workers in personal care services and a million fast-food and restaurant crews were affected during the stricter community quarantine measures in the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal and about P60 billion worth of wages were lost during the two-week MECQ.

The current MECQ also shed P120 billion in gross domestic product, on top of the P180-billion economic losses during the two-week ECQ.

It is wise for the IATF to approve DTI’s proposal.

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