Marcial Rodaje, a 39 year-old resident of Caloocan City, was employed as a mechanic at the Solid Tech. Services, an engine rebuilding company in Caloocan City, when the beam of the fixed crane he was repairing accidentally fell, severing his right arm.

The incident happened on October 2, 2009, when Rodaje, together with a fellow mechanic, was instructed by his employer to do some repair works on a crane which broke after it had been partially submerged by the flood, caused by typhoon Ondoy. It was during the repair when the beam of the crane fell and caught the arm of Rodaje.

This resulting disability shattered his dream of someday working abroad or even being employed in big local companies. He went into a deep depression and even to the point of being suicidal. It was very hard for Rodaje, at that time, to accept the unfortunate thing that happened to him.

While he was still at the hospital recuperating, his wife processed his SSS and EC claims. According to him, it only took several days after submission of the complete documentary requirements for the SSS to evaluate his case and grant him the benefits due. A monthly benefit amounting to P10,000 for 50 months, 4,000 of which is from SSS and 6,000 from the ECP, was given, he added.

Rodaje was thereafter enrolled as a beneficiary of ECC-KAGABAY Program (Katulong at Gabay sa Manggagawang may Kapansanan). The KAGABAY Program is a special economic assistance program for occupationally-disabled workers (ODWs) who suffered a work-related sickness or injury.

The program provided him counseling services and a right arm prosthesis with physical therapy sessions. The therapy sessions were conducted at the Philippine General Hospital, intended for him to get accustomed to the use of his newly attached artificial arm.

At present, he is putting up a small canteen near his residence as an additional source of income apart from his regular employment at Solid Tech. Services, and monthly benefits from SSS and ECP.

He is also attending the ECC-KAGABAY sponsored livelihood and entrepreneurial trainings, and is a member/founder of a cooperative organized with other ODWs, pooling their resources together in putting up viable businesses.

According to him, the programs of the Employees’ Compensation Commission is not limited to monetary benefits, it also provides hope to ODWs who have lost faith in themselves after being disabled.