All Desiree Facun ever wanted was to give back and provide for her family — a wish that was fulfilled when she got her first job as an office staff at Chuzon Supermarket. It took a lot of adjustment as the job required her to live away from her family’s home in Tarlac and be on her own in Porac, Pampanga, but it was a sacrifice she bravely made for her family.

Facun worked at the Porac branch of Chuzon Supermarket for five years until April 2019 when a tragic incident changed her life. The four-storey building of the supermarket collapsed when a 6.1 magnitude earthquake hit areas in Luzon with the town of Porac having the most damage in infrastructure.

It was 5:11 p.m., according to Facun, when they felt the ground tremble and things started happening in a blur. She was at the second floor when debris fell over her and left her stuck inside the building for 12 hours before she was rescued — an incident that led to the amputation of her right leg and two-month hospitalization.

Still, Facun remained optimistic and thankful. “Noong una po, nahihirapan akong tanggapin ‘yung nangyari sa akin kasi iba po sa nakasanayan ko na may dalawang paa pero ngayon, bumabalik na po ako sa dati. Kahit ganito po ang nangyari sa akin, mapalad pa rin po ako dahil napakadami pong dumating na blessings sa akin,” she said.

She also relayed her gratitude to the Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) for extending help to her and her family. “Salamat po sa lahat ng staff ng ECC. Napakalaking tulong po ng binigay ninyo sa akin,” said Facun, who received various benefits and services from the ECC.

In addition to the EC permanent partial disability benefit Facun received, ECC provided her with EC grocery assistance immediately after the earthquake and cash assistance worth Php 10,000 through the Commission’s Quick Response Program which provides immediate assistance to workers who suffer from work-related contingencies. As part of ECC’s Katulong at Gabay sa Manggagawang may Kapansanan (KaGabay) Program, she was also granted a livelihood starter kit worth Php 20,000 which she used as an additional capital to her sari-sari store.

ECC, through its Regional Extension Unit in Central Luzon, continues to monitor the condition of Facun to ensure that she receives all the benefits and services entitled to her under the ECP. Other than the monetary benefits, Facun will also undergo free physical therapy and be provided with a prosthetic leg through the KaGabay Program.

“We want to empower our persons with work-related disabilities (PWRDs) and help them, not only to return to the economic mainstream, but also to regain their self-confidence,” ECC’s Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis said.