CASE 2016-0067: MARCELINO T. TAMIN VS. MAGSAYSAY MARITIME CORPORATION AND/OR MASTERBULK PTE. LTD. (G.R. 220608, 31 AUGUST 2016, VELASCO, JR., J.) (SUBJECT/S: CLAIMS FOR DISABILITY BENEFITS; THE 120/240 RULE; WHAT IS  PERMANENT DISABILITY; WHAT IS TOTAL DISABILITY) (BRIEF TITLE: TAMIN VS MAGSAYSAY MARITIME ET AL).

 
DISPOSITIVE:

 

“WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the petition is hereby GRANTED. The June 25, 2015 Decision and September 18, 2015 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 137055 are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Accordingly, the Decision of the Panel of . Voluntary Arbitrators in AC-305-NCMB-NCR-001-01-01-2014 is hereby REINSTATED.

 

SO ORDERED.”

 

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

 

THERE IS A RULE THAT IN CASE OF CLAIM FOR DISABILITY BENEFITS THE COMPANY PHYSICIAN MUST ISSUE A REPORT WITHIN 120 DAYS EXTENDIBLE TO 240 DAYS. IN THIS CASE THIS RULE WAS NOT FOLLOWED. RESPONDENTS ARGUE THAT THIS RULE DOES NOT APPLY ANYMORE BECAUSE THE PROVISIONS OF THE NEW POEA-SEC PROVIDES THAT DISABILITY IS NOT DETERMINED ON THE BASIS OF DURATION OF INABILITY TO WORK BUT ON DISABILITY GRADINGS ALONE. IS THIS ARGUMENT CORRECT?

 NO. IT MUST BE DETERMINED WHETHER THE THE MEDICAL ASSESSMENT OR REPORT OF THE COMPANY-DESIGNATED PHYSICIAN WAS COMPLETE, VALID  AND ISSUED ON TIME WHICH IS WITHIN 120 DAYS EXTENDIBLE TO 240 DAYS. IN THIS CASE THE REPORT OF THE COMPANY PHYSICIAN WAS NOT ISSUED WITHIN THE LIMIT OF 240 DAYS.

 

JURISPRUDENCE IS REPLETE WITH CASES WHERE THE COURT  STRUCK DOWN A COMPANY-DESIGNATED PHYSICIAN’S DISABILITY ASSESSMENT FOR BEING BELATEDLY ISSUED, INSUFFICIENT, OR DUE TO LACK OF FINALITY.

 

BUT THIS IS CONTRARY TO THE POEA-SEC PROVISIONS?

 

THE POEA-SEC PROVISIONS MUST BE READ IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE THE RELEVANT PROVISIONS ON DISABILITY OF THE LABOR CODE, AND THE AMENDED RULES ON EMPLOYEES’ COMPENSATION (AREC) IMPLEMENTING TITLE II, BOOK IV OF THE LABOR CODE.

 

WHAT IS PERMANENT DISABILITY?

 

PERMANENT DISABILITY IS THE INABILITY OF A WORKER TO PERFORM HIS OR HER JOB FOR MORE THAN 120 DAYS, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT A WORKER LOSES THE USE OF ANY PART OF HIS OR HER BODY.

 

WHAT IS TOTAL DISABILITY?

 

TOTAL DISABILITY, ON THE OTHER HAND, MEANS THE DISABLEMENT OF AN EMPLOYEE TO EARN WAGES IN THE SAME KIND OF WORK OR WORK OF SIMILAR NATURE THAT HE OR SHE WAS TRAINED FOR, OR ACCUSTOMED TO PERFORM, OR ANY KIND OF WORK WHICH A PERSON OF HIS OR HER MENTALITY AND ATTAINMENTS COULD DO.29


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scd-2016-0067-marcelino-t-tamin

 

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