Labor Secretary and ECC Chairperson Silvestre H. Bello III led the awarding of livelihood starter kits to four Persons with Work-Related Disabilities (PWRDs) under the Employees’ Compensation Program on May 5, 2022, at the Department of Labor and Employment Building, Intramuros, Manila.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to serve as the government’s agents in providing the much-needed assistance of our workers. Tunay ngang higit pa sa benepisyo ang ibinibigay na serbisyo ng ECC,” said Bello.
The PWRDs who received the livelihood starter kits are Narciso Dayao, a former maintenance helper who lost his right leg in a motorcycle accident on his way to work in 2015; Reynaldo Denaga, a former sales manager who suffered a stroke in 2018, leaving the left side of his body partially paralyzed; Nickelson Rubio, a former call center agent who was diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome; and Joshua San Juan, a maintenance helper who lost his left arm in a work-site accident.
Dayao received a P20,000.00 livelihood starter kit to purchase materials and supplies for his livestock venture, and Denaga received a P20,000.00 livelihood starter kit to purchase supplies for his skin care product and food supplement business venture. Rubio, on the other hand, received a livelihood complementary kit worth P10,000.00 to sustain and increase the capital stock of his sari-sari store business, while San Juan already received a livelihood starter and complementary kits worth P30,000.00 for his sari-sari store and bigasan business.
According to ECC Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banaiws, the PWRDs have also previously received other EC benefits such as sickness and disability benefits, medical benefits, therapy sessions, and prosthesis in addition to their livelihood starter kits.
“This is the core of ECC, to provide PWRDs with not only monetary assistance but also other services that they need which are not available to other social security institutions in our country. Through our Katulong at Gabay sa Manggaggawang Kapansanan (KaGabay) Program, we are able to provide professional medical guidance as well as additional benefits and services to workers who have greatly suffered from a work-related contingency,” said Banawis.
The KaGabay Program is a special economic assistance program of ECC for persons with work-related disabilities (PWRD) who lost employment by reason of work-related sickness or injury. It aims to facilitate the integration of PWRDs into the economic mainstream through physical restoration, training for re-employment, or entrepreneurship.
Aside from the P20,000.00 livelihood starter kit and a P10,000.00 complementary kit after a year if the livelihood project is sustained, the ECC KaGabay Program also provides rehabilitation services such as free physical or occupational therapy sessions, the provision of assistive devices such as prosthesis, wheelchairs, and hearing aids, psychological counseling, and entrepreneurial and livelihood training.
Banawis, on the other hand, reminded everyone that, even though there is an EC program, the priority of workplace safety and health remains, and that all employers and employees must always recognize and promote this.
Also present during the awarding are ECC Work Contingency, Prevention and Rehabilitation Division Chief Raymond Bañaga. Social Worker Grace Bernadette R. Tee and Allan Abanilla of Information and Public Assistance Division.