Good news for construction workers who have long been wanting security in case of accidents and illness.
Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) Congressman Win Gatchalian has filed a bill mandating an accident and life insurance coverage for construction workers that will ensure their safety and promote their welfare amid the hazardous and dangerous environment they are working in.
Also known as “Construction Workers Insurance Act,” House Bill No. 5975 intends to require employers and contractors of construction workers to provide for mandatory group personal accident insurance coverage to guarantee financial security to injured workers and to their family.
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“News of accidents is nothing new in construction sites, either through the negligence of the employer or the employee’s lack of skill. Physical harm, disability, or worst, death is often the result,” said Gatchalian, who is a member of House Committee on Trade and Industry.
“Unfortunately, it is almost the workers that are left short-changed after the occurrence of such accidents. Oftentimes, the employer merely offers a measly sum to the family of the deceased worker to compensate for their loss,” Valenzuela City Congressman Gatchalian explained.
A 2011 report by the Philippine Construction Association (PCA) revealed that the construction industry employs an average of 1.8 million workers from 2008 to 2011, second only to manufacturing industry. Construction industry lands on the top 5 industries in terms of total number of workers.
It was, however, noted in the same report that the construction industry remains one of the more hazardous and risky occupations in terms of safety and health.
Based on the Labor Statistics Survey in 2007 conducted by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the most common diseases of construction workers are bronchial asthma, infections, and diseases in the musculoskeletal system.
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Under HB 5975, employers shall provide construction workers a group personal accident insurance coverage, which will give financial compensation to workers in case of disaster.
In addition to compensation, every construction workers will also be entitled to receive medical benefits in cases of work-related illness.
The insurance shall be paid completely paid by the employer and shall not be deducted from the wages of the construction workers.
“The insurance coverage shall compensate a reasonable amount for an accident that will cause the disability or the death of the worker. This may not completely erase the pain, but it surely will not hurt to alleviate the loss,” Gatchalian said. (Tim Alcantara)