CALABARZON—The Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) granted P20,000 worth of Bigasan livelihood assistance to Errol Hermosa at ECC REU-4A Office, Halang, Calamba City on September 23, 2019.

Hermosa, a 36-year-old former water delivery driver-helper suddenly felt pain in the back when he was about to carry a full tank water container for his routine delivery in Novermber 2017.

He went to see doctors who advised him to undergo immediate examination. “Pina-check kaagad and kidney, ureter, and bladder ko, pero walang nakita sa ‘kin. Ni-refer ako sa Orthopedics at pina-MRI ako. Doon nakita na severe ang basag ng spine, at naiipit ang ugat ko,” he said.

He tried to get back to work but the incident took a toll on his health as he couldn’t perform his usual tasks. Meantime, he decided to buy his own tricycle for rental of services. However, his daily earnings still, were not enough.

He then filed for EC claim and was granted with 120 days Temporary Total Disability (TTD) and Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) pension for 15 months. He later availed the EC Rehabilitation Services where he underwent physical therapy sessions under the Katulong at Gabay sa Manggagawang May Kapansanan (KaGabay) Program.

Subsequently, he attended EC livelihood training and entrepreneurship seminar where he learned the basics in running a small scale business. He also pitched a Bigasan business plan which was approved by ECC.

“Ako’y lubos na nagpapasalamat sa ECC dahil hindi kami pinapabayaan. Masayang-masaya po ako dahil may pang hanap-buhay na ulit ako. Nakikita ko pong lalago ito, dahil sa mga naituro sa amin sa seminar, natutunan ko ang mga possibleng strategy sa bago kong negosyo,” Hermosa said.

ECC Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis extended support to Hermosa saying, “We are happy with all the help that we gave to Mr. Hermosa. Months ago, he was working for someone to make a living. After the accident and the benefits and services provided by the EC Program, he is now his own boss running a bigasan business,” said Banawis.

As of now, Hermosa is manning his bigasan business with the help of a family member. The ECC will be monitoring his business from time to time. And if he sustains it after a year, he will be entitled to receive an additional  financial assistance under the ECC Program to enhance it.

ECC’s KaGabay Program is a special economic assistance program for persons with work-related disability (PWRDs) who lost employment by reason of work-related sickness or injury.

Reporting by Ruby Ann Fajardo, Information Officer II, REU4A; editing by Carlo Katigbak