5/19/2021

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for his chest pains and tightness, but was allegedly advised to consult his own doctor as
he was repatriated due to the expiration of his contract. Thus, he consulted with a
certain Dr. Rogelio M. Martinez (Dr. Martinez), who gave him medications – Isordil
Sublingual and Celebrox – after examination.[7]
In July 2015, petitioner underwent another PEME with respondents' companydesignated doctor supposedly for another deployment. He was, however, found to be
suffering from "concentric left ventricular hypertrophy with global hypokinesia." On
November 14, 2015, he was subjected to the same tests, which gave the same results,
but with the additional finding of "pulmonary hypertension" and "ischemic myocardium
(interventricular septum) and stress-induced myocardial ischemia at risk (left
ventricular free wall)." On December 5, 2015, another test revealed that petitioner is
also suffering from "complete right bundle branch block and left ventricular
hypertrophy." Due to these diagnoses, petitioner was declared unfit for sea duties.[8]
Thereafter, petitioner was referred to another healthcare facility for another PEME,
wherein he was diagnosed with "hypertensive cardiovascular disease and polycystic
kidney disease." Hence, on April 14, 2016, an UNFIT Waiver was issued.[9]
Unable to secure clearance for another deployment, petitioner claimed that he is
entitled to payment of full disability benefits, arguing that his condition is work-related
and that it had existed during his employment with respondents. He further argued
that he is already totally and permanently disabled because his medical conditions
prevented him from landing another gainful employment as Chief Engineer for more
than 240 days from his repatriation.[10]
For their part, respondents averred that petitioner completed his contract without any
incident and, as such, was repatriated on June 4, 2015. According to respondents,
there is no record of any medical complaint on the vessel, as well as upon his arrival in
the Philippines. Further, petitioner did not report to the company-designated doctor for
the mandatory post-employment medical examination. It was only during petitioner's
reapplication when it was found that he was suffering from cardiovascular and kidney
diseases. Hence, he was not cleared for another deployment. Thus, respondents
maintain that petitioner is not entitled to disability benefits as he completed his
contract without any incident, and that he did not suffer any work-related injury or
illness during the term of his employment. Respondents also pointed out that
petitioner's failure to submit himself to the required post-employment medical
examination with the company-designated doctor forfeits his claim for disability
benefits. Respondents, further, argued that the vessel was covered by the 2006
Maritime Labor Convention which provides for a healthy dietary standard. In fine,
respondents contended that petitioner's claims are grounded upon mere allegations.[11]
In a 2-1 Decision[12] dated November 24, 2016, the RCMB ruled in favor of petitioner,
as follows:

WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, decision is hereby rendered as
follows:
https://elibrary.judiciary.gov.ph/thebookshelf/showdocsfriendly/1/66454

2/12

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