ECC eases prescriptive period due to COVID-19 pandemic

The Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) eases the prescriptive period in the filing of Employees’ Compensation claims nationwide as the country continues to face the threat and challenges brought by the CoViD-19 pandemic.

On May 20, 2021, ECC issued Board Resolution (B.R.) No. 21-05-17 further easing the prescriptive period in the filing of EC claims through suspension of the counting of the three-year prescriptive period in all provinces, highly urbanized cities, and independent component cities regardless of its community quarantine status, during the entire duration of the state of public health emergency due to CoViD-19 pandemic until lifted by the Office of the President. 

“Article 207 of Presidential Decree No. 626 provides that EC claim shall be filed with the Social Security System (SSS) or Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) within three years from the time of sickness, injury, or death. But as the Philippines remains to be under a state of calamity because of the CoViD-19 pandemic, stricter restrictions may be implemented that may make travel difficult for the public. Moreover, the safety of the people remains to be our priority above all else. That is why, the ECC is taking necessary measures to alleviate the burden on employees or workers in this time of difficulty, while ensuring their safety,” ECC Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis said. 

By virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 929, series of 2020, President Rodrigo Duterte declared a state of calamity throughout the Philippines for a period of six months starting March 16, 2020. The state of calamity was then extended for a period of one year from September 13, 2020 until September 12, 2021, following the promulgation of Presidential Proclamation No. 1081, series of 2020.

The pandemic has also pushed the government to implement risk-level classifications of community quarantine, restricting movement of people and activities in accordance with the community quarantine status.

Last year, the ECC issued B.R. No. 20-07-12 on July 17, which prescribed the guidelines on the interruption of the prescriptive period in the filing of EC claims during pandemic, epidemic, or public health emergency, and other fortuitous events in areas under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ). However, considering that risk-level classifications of community quarantine may be reclassified at any time and may necessitate the imposition of stricter restrictions that may limit travel and mobility of people, the ECC recalibrated its response and attune its policy on the prescriptive period in time of state of public health emergency. 

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