Jennifer Santos, a former machine operator in a candy factory, regained employment after receiving a cosmetic finger from the Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC).
In January 2011, Santos was a machine operator in a candy factory when her right index finger was crushed by the machine she was operating.
She lost her job after sustaining amputation of her index finger.
Upon learning that ECC helps persons with work-related disabilities, she immediately grabbed its helping hand.
On March 3, 2014, ECC provided Santos with a High Definition Silicone cosmetic right index finger worth P30,000.
With the provision of the artificial prosthesis, she does not feel incomplete anymore and gained back her self-confidence. Her new cosmetic finger helped her in getting a new work as a saleslady in a big mall in Manila.
Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz stated that ECC has a program called Katulong at Gabay sa Manggagawang may Kapansanan (KaGabay) which provides a special economic assistance for occupationally-disabled workers (ODWs) who lost employment by reason of work-related sickness or injury.
“The main objective of the program is to give ODWs a second chance and become financially independent once more,” Baldoz explained.
KaGabay Program provides physical restoration that refers to the provision of physical or occupational therapy services to ODWs including assistive devices such as leg/arm prosthesis, crutches, hearing aid, etc.
It also grants skills training for re-employment and entrepreneurship training for ODWs who want to set up a business.
ECC Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis stated that KaGabay program’s intention is to let the ODWs feel that disability is not a hindrance to a better future.
“KaGabay… Hagdan at Gabay sa Magandang Buhay,” she added.