William Layuan is a former maintenance worker of Dole Philippines who accidentally injured his fingers while working. As his injury was proven work-related, he was granted permanent partial disability benefit under the Employee Compensation (EC) Program.

Layuan became a beneficiary of the Employees’ Compensation Commission’s (ECC) Katulong at Gabay ng Manggagawang May Kapansanan (KaGabay). With the assistance of the staff of ECC Regional Extension Unit No. 12, he took Automotive Servicing NCII in Schola de San Jose in Polomolok, South Cotabato.

Finishing the said course upgraded his skill. After his graduation on 23 March 2015, Dole Philippines hired him again but not as a maintenance worker. He is now a skilled employee of the company working as a machine operator for juicing machine due to his enhanced skill provided by the ECC-KaGabay Program.

“The KaGabay Program aims to empower the persons with work-related disabilities (PWRDs) to be economically independent amidst their disabilities by providing them with rehabilitation services, and then giving them free skills or livelihood trainings,” ECC Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis explained.

Another KaGabay beneficiary in South Cotabato was able to finish her course with flying colors.

Marevic Monding, a former field worker of AMCOOP in Surallah, South Cotabato, took Computer Servicing NCII at South East Asian Insittute of Technology (SEAIT) in Tupi, South Cotabato. She was a victim of a vehicular accident inside the company site and had serious injuries on her back, causing her to stop working for a few months. After availing of the ECC’s free physical therapy at the Doctors Clinic and Hospital, Inc. in Koronadal City, she immediately grabbed the opportunity offered by the ECC KaGabay Program to gain more knowledge and skills in computer troubleshooting. She graduated last 30 March 2015 with the distinction of being the Outstanding Trainee of SEAIT

She is now preparing to take part in the upcoming Labor Day Job Fair On 1 May 2015 as she would like to work again.

“It is our dream for the PWRDs to succeed. Their condition should not become a hindrance to achieve their goals and aspirations,” Banawis said.