Jonathan Tapan was one of the beneficiaries of the Employees’ Compensation Commission’s (ECC) Katulong at Gabay sa Manggagawang may Kapansanan (KaGabay) Program. He underwent a training on how to start a refilling station business at Negoskwela and at the UP-Public Health in Manila through the ECC-KaGabay Program. He is now the owner of Aquanature Refilling Station in Antipolo City.
Tapan tumbled and fell down to the floor when a cargo ship’s rope accidentally hit him while he was performing his regular duties as a cargo ship’s quartermaster. He was treated in a clinic in Brazil but it did not ease his pain. After three months, he was repatriated to the Philippines and subsequently, he underwent laminectomy and spinal fusion at the Infant Jesus Hospital in Laong Laan, Manila.
Due to his disability, Tapan could no longer return to his work as a seaman. He applied for SSS and EC disability benefits at the SSS for which he was granted eight months of permanent partial disability benefits amounting to P120,000.00. Later, he received a letter from the ECC inviting him to enrol in the KaGabay Program.The ECC through its KaGabay Program granted him six sessions of physical therapy at the Philippine General Hospital. He then underwent electromyography (EMG), a test conducted to determine the electrical activity of muscles, also for free.
Upon learning about the special economic assistance of the ECC, he decided to turn his deficiency into opportunity. He availed of an entrepreneurial training at Negoskwela on “How to Start a Refilling Station Business” under the ECC-KaGabay Program. He then decided to start his company and be his own boss. With P120,000 seed capital that came from his EC and SSS disability pension, he put up the Aquanature Refilling Station located in Bagong Nayon, Cogeo, Marcos Highway, Antipolo City.
The ECC-KaGabay Program is a special economic assistance program initiated by the ECC for occupationally-disabled workers (ODWs) who lost employment by reason of work-related sickness or injury. The KaGabay program provides for physical restoration which aims to restore the physical and functional capacity of the ODWs through physical and occupational therapy, skills training for possible re-employment and entrepreneurship training for small or home-based business.