Senator Chiz Escudero has recently filed a bill that seeks to provide mandatory insurance coverage and other benefits for all lineworkers in the power utility sector.
This is definitely good news especially since I personally know some lineworkers in the power utility sector and most, if not all, of them shared that they barely make enough to purchase insurance not only for themselves but for their loved ones as well.
In filing Senate Bill No. 2303, Senator Chiz Escudero said the measure will ensure that the well-being of thousands of lineworkers as well as that of their families are protected.
“The continuous and reliable supply of electricity—crucial in sustaining our economic growth and maintaining our way of life—rests on the hands of lineworkers who construct, install, maintain, rehabilitate and repair our electrical transmission and distribution systems,” Escudero said.
“While they perform both critical and dangerous work, a number of them do so bereft of any form of coverage against death, accidents, illness, and other fortuitous events that could be sustained in the line of duty,” he added.
As such, the senator pointed out, SBN 2303 seeks to mandate private distribution utilities, electric cooperatives, and transmission or grid operators to provide insurance coverage to all their respective lineworkers and extend other entitlements such as retirement and disability benefits, death and burial assistance, and medical expense reimbursements, among others.
“It is hoped that the provision of insurance coverage and other benefits would ensure that our lineworkers, as well as their families, are protected from the risks and perils of their chosen occupation,” he said.
SBN 2303 defines “lineworkers” as “persons, including crews, drivers, and helpers, who are directly responsible for the construction, installation, maintenance, reconstruction, rehabilitation, and repair of electrical transmission and distribution systems, including underground cables, electrical substations, and other related electrical facilities.”
Escudero proposed that all lineworkers shall be entitled to life, accident, or disability insurance benefits.
The minimum insurance coverage shall be Php 200,000; Php 400,000; and Php 600,000 for small, medium, and large electric cooperatives, respectively. Meanwhile, lineworkers in extra-large and mega-large electric cooperatives shall have a minimum insurance coverage of Php 800,000 and Php 1,000,000, respectively.
For private distribution utilities, the minimum insurance coverage shall be Phpl,500,000; and for transmission or grid operators, the minimum insurance coverage shall be Php2,000,000.00.
In addition to the mandated insurance coverage, Senator Chiz also wants employers of lineworkers to ensure the provision of the following mandatory benefits:
- Retirement benefits;
- Death benefits and burial assistance;
- Disability benefits;
- Reimbursement of actual medical expenses in case of death, accident, sickness, disability, or injury sustained by the lineworker in the line of duty; and
- Other benefits and entitlements as may be identified by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in consultation with the concerned stakeholders.
Thanks for this, Sir Chiz! Here’s hoping all ECs will follow this as soon as the bill gets ratified.
Mindanaoan is a multi-awarded blogger, content creator, seasoned social media strategist and publicist with undeniably successful track record. 2012 International Visitor Leadership Program (for global leaders) alumnus and O visa grantee (for people with extraordinary skills and who have risen to the top of their field). Avid traveler and a proud relief operations volunteer. Regular resource person for social media, blogging and content creation. Available for work and travel – [email protected]