Establish Compliance with the Post-employment Medical Examination

In Mesta v. United Philippine Lines, Inc.,1G.R. No. 242719, January 14, 2019. the Supreme Court emphasized that the seafarer must comply with the post-employment medical examination set forth under Section 20 (A) (3) of the Amended Standard Terms and Conditions Governing the Overseas Employment of Filipino Seafarers On-Board Ocean-Going Ships.2Philippine Overseas Employment Administration Memorandum Circular No. 10, Series of 10. Section 20 (A) (3) provides:
“SECTION 20. Compensation and Benefits. —
“A. Compensation and Benefits for Injury or Illness
“The liabilities of the employer when the seafarer suffers work-related injury or illness during the term of his contract are as follows:
x x x
3. x x x For this purpose, the seafarer shall submit himself to a post-employment medical examination by a company-designated physician within three working days upon his return except when he is physically incapacitated to do so, in which case, a written notice to the agency within the same period is deemed as compliance. In the course of the treatment, the seafarer shall also report regularly to the company-designated physician specifically on the dates as prescribed by the company-designated physician and agreed to by the seafarer. Failure of the seafarer to comply with the mandatory reporting requirement shall result in his forfeiture of the right to claim the above benefits.
The Court said:

x x x [P]etitioner failed to establish compliance with the mandatory post-employment medical examination. Jurisprudence provides that one who alleges a critical fact has the burden to prove his allegation with substantial evidence, which petitioner failed to do. Aside from her bare allegation, records are bereft of any evidence to show that petitioner indeed went to respondent United Philippine Lines, Inc.’s office to request for medical attention which was allegedly rebuffed.

Nevertheless, even assuming that petitioner did comply with the requisite post-employment medical examination, the CA was also correct in finding that the causal connection between her illness and the work she performed onboard the ship was not established. Petitioner merely presented documentary evidence to show her condition before and after the termination of her contract but failed to establish how the nature of her work increased the risk of contracting her illness. Thus, petitioner is not entitled to claim disability benefits under the POEA-SEC.

Further Reading:

  • Mesta v. United Philippine Lines, Inc., G.R. No. 242719, January 14, 2019.