Social justice requires liberal attitude in favor of workers

P.D. No. 626 (27 December 1974) further amended Title II of Book IV on the ECC and State Insurance Fund of the Labor Code of the Philippines (P.D. No. 442, as amended). This law abandoned the presumption of compensability and the theory of aggravation under the Workmens Compensation Act. For the sickness and resulting disability or death to be compensable, the claimant must prove that: (a) the sickness must be the result of an occupational disease listed under Annex A of the Rules on Employees Compensation, or (b) the risk of contracting the disease was increased by the claimants working conditions. This means that if the claimants illness or disease is not included in the said Annex A, then he is entitled to compensation only if he can prove that the risk of contracting the illness or disease was increased by his working conditions. Despite the abandonment of the presumption of compensability established by the old law, the present law has not ceased to be an employees compensation law or a social legislation; hence, the liberality of the law in favor of the working man and woman still prevails, and the official agency charged by law to implement the constitutional guarantee of social justice should adopt a liberal attitude in favor of the employee in deciding claims for compensability, especially in light of the compassionate policy towards labor which the 1987 Constitution vivifies and enhances. Elsewise stated, a humanitarian impulse, dictated by no less than the Constitution itself under the social justice policy, calls for a liberal and sympathetic approach to legitimate appeals of disabled public servants; or that all doubts to the right to compensation must be resolved in favor of the employee or laborer. Verily, the policy is to extend the applicability of the law on employees compensation to as many employees who can avail of the benefits thereunder. [G.R. No. 121545. November 14, 1996]