November 10, 2020 – To ensure that Human Resource Management Officers are ready to provide support to COVID-19 affected employees, the Department of Education (DepEd) conducted a webinar on How to Provide Support to COVID-19 Affected DepEd Employees last October 26.

“The purpose of this is to ensure our employees, our peers, [and] our colleagues are equipped with knowledge and understanding of the latest benefits and assistance in COVID-19 from our partner agencies Employee Compensation Commission (ECC) and PhilHealth so that we can put it into action,” Undersecretary for Human Resource and Organizational Development Jesus LR Mateo said in his opening message.

ECC and PhilHealth were at the webinar as resource speakers and to present the support and benefits they have for the employees. ECC introduced the Employees’ Compensation Program (EC Program), which is designed to ‘provide employees and their families with income benefits, medical, and other health benefits in the event of work-connected sickness, injury or death.’

ECC also noted that COVID-19 is compensable under the EC Program as long as the disease has been acquired during work. For the prescriptive period, ECC said that ‘no claim for the compensation shall be given eventually unless said claim is filed with the respective insurance systems (SSS for the private sector and GSIS for public sector employees) within three years from the time of sickness, injury, or death.’

Philhealth, on the other hand, discussed their offered benefits packages for inpatient care of probable and confirmed COVID-19 developing severe illness. These packages were case-based benefits categorized by Philhealth into four packages amount:

  1. Mild Pneumonia (hospitalized, private room) the patient will receive Php 43,997 assistance;
  2. Moderate Pneumonia (hospitalized, private room), package amount is Php 143,267;
  3. Severe Pneumonia (hospitalized, private room, ICU) the package amount is Php 333,519; and for
  4. Critical Pneumonia (hospitalized, private room, ICU) the package amount is Php 786,384.

The health corporation also noted that the amount of the benefit depends on the severity of the illness.

Under the Philhealth Testing Package, the COVID-19 swab test is compensable, and the amount of compensation also varies on the materials and machine used. The government-owned health insurer also said that employees need to identify if the testing laboratory is accredited by PhilHealth and the Department of Health.

DepEd envisioned that  HR Officers are fully informed and capacitated to assist employees from the processing of their respective claims, coordinating with the offices of concerned agencies, adapting to referral mechanisms, and participating in certain programs.

“Being an HR officer/personnel at our respective offices at various governance levels, it is important that we provide timely information to all our colleagues [and] our peers para sa gano’n hindi sila mag-worry,” Usec. Mateo said.