DOLE: Kentex fire survivors entitled to employee compensation benefits
KENTEX Manufacturing Corp. workers who survived the May 13 fire that gutted the firm’s slippers factory in Valenzuela City are entitled to employee compensation benefits even if they are not members of the state-run Social Security System, or SSS.
This good news was announced on Thursday by Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldos as she called on all Kentex fire survivors to visit the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) office in Caloocan City, and “register as Kentex employees.”
The DOLE office is on the 5th Floor of the Araneta Square Center in Monumento Circle.
In a statement, Baldos assured the fire victims that “as long as there is an employer-employee relationship, a worker can file an employee compensation benefits claim from any SSS branch.”
Employees Compensation Commission executive director Stella Banawis confirmed the DOLE head’s pronouncement, noting “even if the worker-victims are not SSS members, they can still file claims under the Employees Compensation Program.”
At the same time, she reported that the ECC’s Quick Response Team had met with members of at least 15 families of the fire victims to “condole with them, inform them about their ECC benefits and instruct them on how to claim their benefits.”
Team members also distributed grocery bags to the victims’ families.
“We also have personnel at the one-stop shop set up by the Valenzuela City government to dialogue with the families and entertain their queries,” said Banawis.
In a related development, the DOLE office in the National Capital Region, located in Malate, Manila, disclosed that survivors of the Kentex factory fire could avail of livelihood grants from the agency.
That is, if they could “identify and determine the possible livelihood undertaking and submit a project proposal,” according to the DOLE-NCR office. SFM/ABC
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