Proving that work-related disability is not a hindrance to productivity, the Occupationally-Disabled Workers Association of the Philippines, Inc., (ODWAPI) has recently launched its store inside the Employees’ Compensation Commission’s compound in Makati City, showcasing the products of its members–Persons with Work-Related Disabilities (PWRDs).
The event also coincided with the country’s celebration of the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week.
The launching kicked-off with a mass and was followed by the ribbon-cutting ceremony lead by the Employees’ Compensation Commission OIC-Deputy Executive Director Atty. Jonathan T. Villasoto and Department of Labor and Employment-National Capital Region Makati and Pasay Field Office Director Rowella V. Grande.
The ODWAPI’s Kabuhayan Center in ECC was made possible through a livelihood grant from the Department of Labor and Employment National Capital Region-Makati, Pasay Field Office amounting to P100,000.00 worth of meat products.
The ODWAPI was established In March 2012 and by PWRDs who benefitted from the ECC’s KaGabay Program. ODWAPI, Inc. is the first of its kind to be recognized by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) as a duly registered association of PWRD. The ODWAPI aims to empower its member-PWRDs by making them self-sufficient using the livelihood and entrepreneurship skills they also acquired through the KaGabay Program.
At present, ODWAPI has 300 active members.
Aside from their Kabuhayan Center at the ECC compound, they also have another one located inside the Coastal Mall.
“We have provided them with what we think they need to start anew. However, the ECC’s support for them does not stop there. We wanted to ensure that they return to their productive selves despite their disabilities,” ECC Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis said.