LA UNION – “Hindi namin inaasahan na may ganitong programa pala ang gobyerno na handang tumulong sa aming mga manggagawa na naaksidente dahil sa trabaho. Maraming salamat sa ECC at nabigyan kami ng pagkakataon para makapagsimula ulit,” expressed by persons with work related disability assisted by the Employees’ Compensation Commission.

These PWRDs recently received their EC disability benefits and are currently enrolled in the ECC Katulong at Gabay sa Manggagawang Pilipino (KaGabay) program.

Jayson Palabay, 22, was an employee in a paper company where he accidentally got his right hand caught in a paper-cutting machine. The mishap resulted in the loss of three of Palabay’s fingers.

Another PWRD is Keen Harley Viernes, 28, who worked as a credit investigator for a company that sells furniture and home appliances. During one of his official errands, Viernes figured in a motorcycle accident that fractured his right leg.

The third one is Arturo Amezola, 58, a utility person in a home depot whose right foot was crushed by a box full of ceramic tiles.

Palabay, Viernes and Amezola, all residents of La Union, were displaced from their employment.

The ECC, on its own initiative and with referrals from Department of Labor and Employment Region I, managed to track down the said PWRDs and provide basic orientation on the Employees’ Compensation Program as well as in the filing of EC claims.

Palabay, Viernes and Amezola soon received their monthly pension as EC disability benefits from the Social Security System.

The ECC extended further aid by enrolling the three PWRDs in its KaGabay Program.

KaGabay is a flagship program of the ECC that facilitates reintegration of PWRDs into the economic mainstream through physical restoration and skills or entrepreneurship training.

When a worker’s claim for permanent partial disability (PPD) or permanent total disability (PTD) benefits is approved by the System, such worker becomes qualified under the KaGabay.

The three PWRDs, after availing free physical therapy sessions from the ECC’s partner hospitals in Region 1, opted to undergo skills trainings.

At present, Palabay is taking up Electrical Installation and Maintenance, Viernes is studying Computer Hardware Servicing while Amezolais registered in an Automotive Servicing training course.

ECC Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis explained that the ECP is not limited to monetary compensation.

“The approach adopted in helping PWRDs is holistic, which means that on top of the monetary benefits, the ECC also offers access to programs and services such as the KaGabay so that PWRDs can achieve functional independence as they enter the economic mainstream,” said Banawis.