ILOILO CITY, March 10 (PNA) — The Employees Compensation Commission (ECC) has tapped the support of barangay (village) officials in raising the awareness of the working population on benefits they are entitled to avail on top of their Social Security System (SSS) or Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) entitlement.

ECC regional officer-in-charge Stephene Barredo on Friday said that the campaign this March is now directed to barangays in the second district of Iloilo province.

In February, they were able to meet and orient barangay officials from the municipalities of Maasin, Mina, Janiuay, Lambunao and Cabatuan. Before the end of the year, they hoped to meet with officials of all the barangays in Iloilo.

Barredo revealed that their office has been flooded with phone calls, text messages and even personal visits, all asking about their program, following the initial meetings with barangay officials.

The massive information drive down to the grassroots level was launched in response to a nationwide survey conducted by the ECC central office, showing that the awareness about the Employees Compensation Program (ECP) in Visayas is low, he said.

The Employees Compensation Program is part of the workers’ basic statutory benefits under the Labor Code of the Philippines. However, only workers with work-connected contingencies such as sickness or injury can avail of the said benefits or their beneficiaries for work-connected death.

Compensation benefits include loss of income benefits; career’s allowance; medical, death and funeral benefits; and, rehabilitation services as additional benefits.

An employee who is hospitalized for work-related sickness is advised to proceed to the nearest social security of government service insurance and apply for a compensation claim. They could also visit the nearest office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Barredo said that barangay officials are better conduit because they know who the working people within their turf are. He added that they expect them to cascade whatever information they gathered to their qualified constituents.

He also added that ECC does not require additional contribution from employees. As long as they enrolled with SSS or GSIS, then they are already qualified. (PNA)