PWDs in Central Luzon, Davao get livelihood aid from gov’t

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At least 49 persons with disability (PWDs) from Central Luzon and Davao regions who were displaced due to the community quarantine imposed during the coronavirus-2019 (Covid-19) pandemic have been given livelihood assistance from the government, the Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) said September 5, 2020.

ECC executive director Stella Zipagan-Banawis said the PWD-beneficiaries from Central Luzon and Davao benefited from the Katulong at Gabay sa Manggagawang may Kapansanan (KaGabay) Program, a special assistance program for PWDs who lost employment due to work-related sickness or injury.

Of the 49 beneficiaries, she said 32 came from Central Luzon while 17 PWDs were from Davao received PHP20,000 worth of livelihood package each.

“This year, we continue to strengthen our services as we provide more livelihood opportunities to our PWDs in our mission to assist them in their return to the economic mainstream and their desire to gain new competencies,” Banawis said..

They were provided with other ECC benefits, such as sickness, disability benefits, medical reimbursements, cash assistance of PHP10,000, free physical and occupational therapy, and free skill or entrepreneurial training.

Banawis added that the ECC can further provide the recipients with PHP10,000 as a complementary livelihood grant after one year, to encourage the grantees in expanding their livelihood enterprises.

“We will strive harder in promoting their welfare and ensure their gainful employment and success as entrepreneurs,” she said.

The program aims to facilitate the integration of the vulnerable sector into the economic mainstream through physical restoration, training for re-employment, or entrepreneurship.

Meanwhile, one of the beneficiaries, Israel Cortez, a former machine operator in a manufacturing company, said he used the livelihood grant to establish his sari-sari store.

He hopes to expand it as a mini-grocery in the coming months.

“I would like to express my deepest gratitude to those who made this possible. This livelihood project is a big help to my family. Because of this, we can start our new business and we will strive hard to make this a success,” Cortez said. (PNA)

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