The Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) awarded Junwil Carmelo of Tarlac, former armored truck driver, a new set of below-knee prostheses as part of the agency’s Katulong at Gabay sa Manggagawang may Kapansanan (KaGabay) Program.
Carmelo, whose both legs were amputated following a vehicular accident in May 2014, received new below-knee prostheses worth ₱364,000.00 on June 15, 2022, in Camiling, Tarlac. The grant is part of the ECC’s assistance to persons with work-related disability (PWRD) under the Katulong at Gabay sa Manggagawang may Kapansanan (KaGabay) Program. The awarding of the assistive device were facilitated by ECC nurse Aniceta Misa, ECC personnel – Reagan Madriaga, Danica Lacson, and Roel Aguilar.
Prior to the grant of prostheses, the Commission also provided Carmelo with free physical therapy at ECC’s partner hospital.
In addition to the prostheses, the 31-year-old Tarlac native undertook skills training for CCTV operation and a course in computer hardware servicing through partner institutions of the ECC. At present, Carmelo utilizes his acquired skills in his work as Stake Technology Specialist at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Tarlac.
“Nagpapasalamat po ako sa ECC sa mga nabigay nilang tulong sa akin simula noong ako po ay maaksidente sa aking trabaho bilang isang armored truck driver. Naputulan po ako ng dalawang paa noong 2014 dahil sa pagtaob ng aming sasakyan. Hindi po ako pinabayaan ng ECC. Hindi ko po alam kung anong gagawin kung wala ang ECC na gumabay sa akin,” said Carmelo.
The former armored truck driver also received EC disability benefits in 2014. To help Carmelo become economically independent, the ECC granted him a livelihood training with a starter kit worth ₱20,000.
Despite his disability, Carmelo remains positive in his outlook, encouraging others to be resilient in the midst of adversity. “Sa mga kagaya ko po na merong pinagdadaanan, huwag po tayong sumuko sa laban ng ating buhay at huwag po tayong mawawalan ng pananampalataya sa Kanya,” Carmelo added.
“The ECC is committed to helping persons with work-related disability (PWRD) to regain their dignity and start anew through our programs and services. We continue to exhaust all efforts and extend all possible assistance we can provide to lessen their vulnerability,” ECC Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis said.
D. Lacson – REU3