Leonardo A. Matuguina, Jr of Brgy Libas, Merida, Leyte was working as a lineman for the Leyte Electric Cooperative Five for seventeen years. He got electrocuted while fixing the distribution lines which resulted to several burns on his back and amputation of his right leg. Since then, he has been unable to find any other form of employment due to his injuries and disability.
Immediately after the accident, Matuguina’s company filed for disability claims under the Social Security System (SSS) and the Employees’ Compensation (EC) at the SSS branch in Ormoc. His injuries were classified as permanent partial disability and he was granted income pension worth P5,428.00 for 23 months.
Matuguina also qualified as a beneficiary of the Employees’ Compensation Commission’s Katulong at Gabay ng Manggagawang May Kapansanan (KaGabay) Program. As such, he was able to undergo six physical therapy sessions for free at the OSPA Farmers’ Hospital in Ormoc City.
On top of the free physical therapy, Matuguina also received a free modular leg, also from the KaGabay Program worth P130,000.
He can also undergo any TESDA accredited training course for free, and will be receiving a livelihood starter kit to help jumpstart his own business, all in the hope of bringing him back to the economic mainstream.
Under the KaGabay Program of the Employees’ Compensation Commission, workers like Matuguina, who have been injured because of work, can undergo free physical and occupational therapy sessions at any partner hospital of the ECC.
Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis said that the ECC goes beyond giving just benefits to workers, “rather, we go the extra mile to ensure that workers who seek help from us were given the needed support to start anew, consistent with our motto—higit pa sa benepisyo ang ibinibigay na serbisyo”.
However, Banawis reminded everyone to exercise caution especially when dealing with live wires and electricity.
“While we are committed in serving persons’ with work-related disabilities, we are also batting for a healthy and safe workforce,” she ended.