Jeffrey Librado, a physical education teacher in an aeronautical school, lost his left leg in a hit-and-run crash on 7 October 2013 while he was on his way to work.

Librado’s leg was severed right after the sedan crashed his leg. He thought it was only his shoe so he picked it up then he found out that it was his leg. At that time, he thought that he was going to die any time.Yet, he did not give up.

“If I am not going to do anything, I will really die. I need to survive for my family. I need to seek help,” Librado recalled.

He waved his helmet to approaching vehicles for them to see him. However, no one stopped to help him. He called his wife to inform her of his situation.

Until another motorcycle approached him and called for help to bring him to the hospital. A delivery tricycle offered to assist him.

Consequently, he lost his job as a PE teacher. He started worrying for the provision of his family as he only hasone leg left.

“Fortunately, the Employees’ Compensation Commission intervened. I received a legprosthesis worth P140,000from the ECC KaGabay Program,” Librado mused.

Aside from the prosthesis, Librado received free eight sessions of physical therapy at the PGH under the Katulong at Gabay sa Manggagawang may Kapansanan (KaGabay) Program of the ECC, P3,800 monthly EC permanent partial disability pension for 46 months, and P34,000 EC loss of income benefit.

ECC is an agency that assists employees who met work-related sickness, injuries or death. It grants loss of income benefits, medical, carer’s allowance, rehabilitation services and death benefits.

ECC Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis explained that ECC has a KaGabay program that empowers persons with work-related disabilities (PWrDs) economically by providing them rehabilitation appliances such as prostheses and giving them free entrepreneurial trainings and re-skilling programs.

“ECC encourages economic independence to PWrDs for self-reliance, sustainability and better lives through our KaGabay Program,” Banawis added.

After receiving the prosthesis from ECC, Librado got back to his school where he used to teach. He now works there as computer laboratory facilitator.

“ECC led me to economic independence. Without ECC, I will not have my job back. The prosthesis ECC gave me is my tool to self-reliance. Thank you ECC for making my life better,” Librado stated.

Librado is planning to take up computer courses through the ECC kaGabay Program to further his career.

“Through ECC, I know everything will be alright,” Librado stated.

Banawis, however, encourages employers and employees to practice good occupational safety and health which is fundamental to public health. Employers should comply with OSH standards to ensure a healthy and safe work environment for employees. On the other hand, employees should also take reasonable care of their own health and safety.

“I would like to emphasize that prevention is better than compensation. The ECC provides benefits for work-related incidents but good practicesinOSHprovide a better and healthier community,” explained Banawis.