Alejandro Padriquel is a pastor formerly employed at Southern Mindanao Mission in General Santos City who met a vehicular accident last 27 July 2013. The accident left him badly injured which required him to undergo a year of physical therapy for his right shoulder and leg.

A glimmer of hope sparked for Pastor Padriquel after he received a visit from the Quick Response Team (QRT) of the Employees’ Compensation Commission Regional Extension Unit-12 (ECC-REU 12) who assessed his condition.

The team advised Pastor Padriquel to file for sickness/disability claim under the Employees’ Compensation (EC) which was later on approved and released through Social Security System in Gen. Santos City.

Pastor Padriquel also found out, through the QRT, that he can avail of free physical therapy and entrepreneurial training under the ECC ‘s Katulong at Gabay sa Manggagawang May Kapansanan (KaGabay) Program.

Not wasting any precious time, he underwent free physical therapy at Doctors Clinic and Hospital in Koronadal City, South Cotabato.

After a year of physical therapy, he then enrolled for a course in Bread and Pastry Training at the Marbel School of Science and Technology (MSST), another assistance he availed of under the KaGabay Program.

He was also able to reimburse his fare and meal after he completed his training at the MSST.

At present, Pastor Padriquel and his wife are working hard for the success of their small bread and cookies retail business.

The KaGabay Program is a special economic assistance program for people with work-related diseases (PWRD) who lost employment by reason of work-related sickness or injury. It aims to facilitate integration of (PWRD) into the economic mainstream through physical restoration, training for re-employment, or entrepreneurship.

Under the program, workers with approved disability benefits can avail of physical restoration that provides physical or occupational therapy services including assistive devices such as leg/arm prosthesis, crutches, and hearing aid, among others.

It also gives skills training for re-employment so that the PWRD can acquire new skills based on his potentials and residual functional capacity and entrepreneurship training under accredited training centers to help him set up a home-based business.

In 2014, 127 PWRDs availed of physical therapy services while 11 avail benefitted from its occupational therapy services from ECC’s partner hospitals around the country.  On the other hand, 166 PWRDs underwent various livelihood and skills training courses and business orientation seminars under the livelihood and vocational training component of the KaGabay Program.