The Employees’ Compensation Commission provided a former die setter, who lost his thumbs to a work-related accident in 2018, rehabilitation services and livelihood assistance through its Katulong at Gabay sa Manggawang may Kapansanan (KaGabay) Program.

Izidro Balbarono, who worked as a die setter for Dai-ichi Electronics Manufacturing Corporation from 1992 to 2018, suffered a work-related accident while operating a press machine on April 16, 2018. According to Balbarono, a machine glitch caused the press machine to unexpectedly go down and hit his fingers while he was setting up the material to be pressed. The accident led to the loss of his thumbs and, subsequently, the loss of his employment due to his partial disability.

Despite the initial despair brought by the accident, Balbarono said he had no choice but to accept the situation. The 2018 accident was not the first time the 53-year-old die setter experienced an accident while working on a press machine. In 2009, he lost his left middle and ring fingers.

With the loss of his thumbs, the ECC, through the KaGabay Program, afforded him with eight sessions of physical therapy at the Philippine General Hospital and a prosthesis as assistance for his rehabilitation needs. He also received additional capital and training on how to start a business and simple bookkeeping to help him sustain and grow his sari-sari store.

According to Balbarono, a father of two, the employees’ compensation benefits will aid him and his family in their everyday expenses and needs. He also hopes to grow his small business and earn enough capital to start a hog-raising business.

The Employees’ Compensation Commission continues to extend its hand to public and private employees who experienced work-related contingencies and to their dependents as part of its mission to provide adequate benefits, rehabilitation services, and livelihood trainings to the working people who suffered from work-related accident, injury, illness, or death.

Through its KaGabay Program, ECC sets them for a new start by rehabilitating them and helping them acquire new skills or set up their business.