Illness or accident reportcthe vessel
If a seafarer is not feeling well while at sea, he must consult a medical person before disembarkation.
A seafarer must present evidence or report that he complained of any medical condition while working on board the vessel during the term of his contract.
This is to give the company the basis for evaluating whether the personal injury or illness in question can be recognized as an occupational injury or disease.
A work-related Illness is any sickness as a result of the listed occupational disease under the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration Standard Employment Contract (POEA- SEC).
A work-related injury is an injury arising out of and in the course of employment.
Otherwise, he will be disqualified for disability benefits since he disembarked due to a finished contract.
There must be a showing that he suffered the illness or injury within the effectivity of contract, from departure from the point of hire until return to the point of hire (i.e. Airport to Airport .
The seafarer’s employment shall cease when he completes his period of contractual service aboard the ship, signs-off from the ship and arrives at the point of hire.
In the event that despite said complaint the officials fail to make a positive action, the seafarer must communicate directly to the principal or the manning agency for documentation purposes.
It is a rampant practice that the seafarer will be told to just wait for the next port since his contract will soon be terminated, leaving the illness undocumented.
The liabilities of the employer when the seafarer suffers work-related injury or illness during the term of his contract include medical treatment apart from disability benefits and sickness allowance.
There are three basic medical documentations that will play vital roles in availing the benefits, specifically (a) Pre -Employment Medical Examination (PEME), Accident or illness report while on board the vessel and Post-medical reporting within three (3) working days upon arrival in the Philippines.
In some decided cases, the Court opined that the seafarer who worked for the same company for a continuous period , the working nature must took a toll on his body, thus he could not have contracted his illness elsewhere but during the employment.
However, in another case, the Court noted that an ailment, if there is a break, in any case, could have another source.
Due to the seafarer’s failure to discharge this burden, the Court ruled that the seafarer, at the time of his repatriation, was not suffering from any physical disability requiring immediate medical assistance and that his employment was terminated due to a finished contract.
Other incidents could have occurred from the time he was repatriated until he consulted a private physician and that such illness or injury could not have been work-related at the time he was still employed by the company ( Tagud vs. BSM, G.R. No. 219370. December 6, 2017).
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