Senator Chiz Escudero has recently filed a bill that seeks to provide mandatory insurance coverage and other benefits for all line workers in the power utility sector.
In filing Senate Bill 2303, 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 line workers who construct, install, maintain, rehabilitate and repair our electrical transmission and distribution systems,” the veteran legislator 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,” the seasoned lawmaker added.
As such, the senator pointed out, SB 2303 seeks to mandate private distribution utilities, electric cooperatives and transmission or grid operators to provide insurance coverage to all their respective line workers 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 line workers, as well as their families, are protected from the risks and perils of their chosen occupation.”
“It is hoped that the provision of insurance coverage and other benefits would ensure that our line workers, as well as their families, are protected from the risks and perils of their chosen occupation,” he said.
SB 2303 defines “line workers” 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.”
“All line workers shall be entitled to life, accident or disability insurance benefits.”
Escudero proposed that all line workers shall be entitled to life, accident or disability insurance benefits.
The minimum insurance coverage shall be P200,000; P400,000; and P600,000 for small, medium and large electric cooperatives, respectively.
Meanwhile, line workers in extra-large and mega large electric cooperatives shall have a minimum insurance coverage of P800,000 and P1,000,000, respectively.
For private distribution utilities, the minimum insurance coverage shall be Pl,500,000; and for transmission or grid operators, the minimum insurance coverage shall be P2,000,000.00.
In addition to the mandated insurance coverage, the Bicolano senator also wants employers of line workers to ensure the provision of the following mandatory benefits:
(a) Retirement benefits;
(b) Death benefits and burial assistance;
(c) Disability benefits;
(d) Reimbursement of actual medical expenses in case of death, accident, sickness, disability or injury sustained by the lineworker in the line of duty; and
(e) Other benefits and entitlements as may be identified by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in consultation with the concerned stakeholders.