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Additional Requirement on the 120/240 days rule

Philippine Shipping Update – Manning Industry

By:  Ruben Del Rosario, President, Del Rosario Pandiphil Inc., 8 November 2019 (Issue 2019/12)

 

Additional Requirement on the 120/240 days rule 
 
Recent decisions of the Supreme Court now provide for an additional requirement to the120/240 rule - the need for the seafarer to be provided a copy of the final medical assessment of the company designated physician (CDP).   
 
To recall, the 120/240 days rule require the company-designated physician to issue a final medical assessment within 120 days.  If no final medical report is issued without proper justification, the seafarer will be considered permanently and totally disabled.  If there is sufficient justification (for example, treatment has to be continued) as to why the company designated physician is not yet able to issue a final assessment within 120 days, then the period shall be extended to 240 days.  If after the lapse of 240 days and no final medical assessment is issued by the company-designated physician, then the disability is considered automatically considered of permanent and total in nature. 
 
With the recent decisions, it is now also necessary that the seafarer be provided a copy of the company-designated physician’s final assessment either within the 120 days or 240 days period, whichever is applicable.  If the final medical assessment is not given to the seafarer within the 120/240 days period, he may be considered automatically as permanently and totally disabled.
 
In view of this development, the following best practices is suggested in the observance of the 120/240 days rule:
 
Within 120 Days

1.     At the initial point of handling a claim, the following must be determined:

o    The illness or injury that the seafarer is suffering from

o    Work relation of the medical condition

o    Scope and estimated length of treatment

o    Prognosis and chances of fitness to work or degree of disability

o    existence of concealment or a pre-existing condition, intentional breach of duties and other special circumstances which may affect compensability

2.     After the medical condition has been determined as work-related, there must be continuous coordination with the physician to determine if there are changes in the plan of treatment and prognosis.  

3.     Prior to the lapse of 120 days, the company-designated physician must determine if he is able to come up with a final assessment.  If a final medical assessment is made within 120 days, then copy of the medical report showing such final assessment should be provided to the seafarer also within 120 days.

4.     It is important that a final medical assessment should be issued by the company-designated physician and the copy thereof likewise be provided to the seafarer within 120 days.  Otherwise, the seafarer will be considered as permanently and totally disabled.  If a final medical assessment cannot be issued and it would appear that the treatment will exceed the 120 days period, the company-designated physician should provide sufficient justification as to why treatment needs to be extended. It is however important that treatment will not exceed 240 days.

5.     It is worth emphasizing that the above guidelines of determining the final degree of disability and providing a copy thereof to the seafarer will only apply if the medical condition has been determined to be work-related or compensable under a relevant CBA

Within 240 Days

1.     During the extended period, close coordination should be made with the company-designated physician to determine the prognosis and estimated issuance of a final medical assessment

2.     Prior to the lapse of the 240 days, the company-designated doctor should already be in a position to prepare a final medical assessment whether declaring the seafarer fit to work or with a degree of disability.  In any event, the final medical assessment must be issued prior to the end of 240 days.  In the same manner,the seafarer must be provided with a copy of the final medical assessment which has been clearly explained to him within the same period, otherwise, there is a risk that he will be considered permanently and totally disabled.

 
The above are meant to serve as general guidelines in the handling of claims in relation to the 120/240 days rule and individual claims may call for alternative actions depending on their circumstances. 
 
Firm News
 
In close cooperation with Birgitta Hed of The Swedish Club, our Catherine Mangahas and Veronica Del Rosario-Aguinaldo made a presentation on “Understanding Legal and Practical Issues on Filipino Crew Claims” to Swedish Club Members in Donso, Sweden on 16 October 2019.
 
On 23 October 2019, a similar seminar was organized by The Swedish Club to its Members in Hamburg, Germany conducted by our Charles Dela Cruz, Denise Cabanos and Aldrich Del Rosario. 

Charles, Denise and Aldrich also lectured on the same subject organized by the West of England for its Members in Piraeus, Greece on 17 October 2019.
 
We express our deep appreciation to The Swedish Club and West of England for the excellent arrangements and the opportunity to interact with their respective Members.

 

Areas of Specialization: Shipping, Labour, Transport, Corporate, Mergers & Acquisitions, Insurance, Immigration, Litigation, Arbitration, Intellectual Property
 
2018 AsiaLaw Profiles: Outstanding in Shipping, Maritime & Aviation; Recommended in Dispute Resolution & Litigation, Intellectual Property, Labour & Employment

“Del Rosario & Del Rosario has the strongest shipping practice in the Philippines. They definitely deserves the top ranking.” AsiaLaw Profiles 2018

“We rely on them when there’s a problem. We can trust them. And they can deliver the service required.” The Legal 500 2018

“For almost four decades, DelRosarioLaw has led in the shipping and transport practice in the Philippines by assisting stakeholders in fostering institutional changes to ensure the continued viability of the local shipping and manning sectors. This enduring reputation has made the firm’s opinion in major maritime policies of the country most sought after.” Chambers Asia-Pacific 2018

Del Rosario & Del Rosario, a four-decades-old firm, is considered to be among the top shipping and maritime practices in the country. It has also built a formidable reputation in insurance and reinsurance, and has more than 30 lawyers, including 10 partners.” The Philippines Law Firm Awards 2018.

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This publication aims to provide commentary on issues affecting the manning industry, analysis of recent cases and updates on legislation.  It is meant to be brief and is not intended to be legal advice.  To subscribe or for further information, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

Bulletin

TheAsia Business Law Journal has named Managing Partners Arturo Del Rosario, Jr. and Ruben Del Rosario and Senior Partner Joseph Rebano as one of the Philippines Top 100 Lawyers in their recently published list.

The Top 100 list of lawyers can be accessed as follows:

https://www.vantageasia.com/asia-business-law-journal/Philippines-lawyers/#INTRODUCTION

 

DelRosarioLaw welcomes Ruben Jose G. Del Rosario Jr., as a Junior Associate of the firm. He is a 2011 Bachelor of Science in Management, Major in Legal Management graduate of Ateneo de Manila and a 2017 Bachelor of Laws graduate of San Beda College - Alabang.

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Partner Charles Dela Cruz spoke on "Nuances of Retirement Law in the Philippines" at the 2nd HR Compliance Conference held on September 25-26, 2018 at SMX Aura Convention in Bonifacio Global City.

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Partners Charles Dela Cruz and Herbert Tria spoke on “Current Crew Claims Handling Issues related to the Data Privacy Act” at the 7th Annual Magsaysay Shipping and Logistics’ Marine Insurance Seminar held on 21 September 2018 at Robert Hall, Times Plaza Building, Manila.

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DelRosarioLaw Senior Partner Charles Jay Dela Cruz was elected as member of the Board of Trustees of the Philippine Bar Association (PBA) for the term 2018-2019.

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Downloads

  • IRR Seafarer's Protection Act
  • Seafarers Protection Act
  • ORDINANCE No. 28 Series of 2015 Zambales, Philippines
  • NLRC MEMO on 3rd Doctor
  • NLRC Rules of Procedure 2011
  • Standard Terms and Conditions of Del Rosario Law
  • POEA SEC - 2010 Amendments
  • POEA Memorandum Circular No. 10 Series of 2010
  • Governing Board Resolution No. 09 Series of 2010

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