Better OFW protection through extended insurance

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Overseas Filipino workers are assured of greater protection amid the global health crisis through the expansion of mandatory insurance coverage for rehires or “balik-manggagawa” and direct hires.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, who chairs the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) board of directors, said on Sunday that guidelines had been issued to implement insurance coverage. Mandatory extended for rehires and direct hires.

“The pandemic has made our migrant workers vulnerable to various risks and perils. By expanding mandatory insurance coverage, we aim to extend protection to all OFWs, at no cost to our workers,” Bello said.

The insurance policy must be in force for the duration of the migrant worker’s employment contract and provide coverage in the event of death, disability, repatriation, medical emergency and litigation.

It provides at least $15,000 in survivor benefits in the event of accidental death; at least $10,000 in the event of natural death; and at least $7,500 in disability benefits.

The insurance policy also covers repatriation, including transportation of the worker’s personal effects, when his employment is terminated by the employer without cause or terminated by the employee for cause.

In the event of death, the insurer organizes and pays for the repatriation or return of the remains of the worker.

It also provides for a subsistence allowance of at least $100 per month for a maximum of six months for a migrant worker who is involved in a case or dispute, and cash claims arising from the employer’s liability which may be granted or given to the worker in a judgment or settlement of his case before the National Commission for Professional Relations.

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