PWDs displaced by pandemic get livelihood aid, training, other benefits

Persons with disability in Central Luzon and Davao have received livelihood package and cash assistance after being displaced due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A total of 49 beneficiaries were provided with P20,000 worth of livelihood package each under the Katulong at Gabay sa Manggagawang may Kapansanan (KaGabay) Program of the Employees’ Compensation Commission, an agency of the Labor department.

Aside from the livelihood package, sickness and disability benefits, medical reimbursements, cash assistance of P10,000, free physical and occupational therapy, and free skill or entrepreneurial training were also given to the beneficiaries.

Of the 49 beneficiaries, 32 came from Central Luzon while 17 PWDs were from Davao.

According to ECC Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis, the PWD-beneficiaries “are given the opportunities for sustainable livelihood despite their physical or occupational limitations especially in these trying times.”

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

To encourage the grantees in expanding their livelihood enterprises, the ECC can further provide the recipients with P10,000 as a complementary livelihood grant after one year, the official added.

A beneficiary, Israel Cortez,who is a former machine operator in a manufacturing company, said he utilized the livelihood grant from ECC to establish a ''sari-sari'' (neighborhood convenience) store with the hopes of expanding it to a mini grocery in the coming months.

“Isang malaking bagay para sa akin at sa aking pamilya ang kabuhayan na ito. Dahil dito, makakapagsimula po kami ng maliit na negosyo at sisikapin namin itong mapalago (This livelihood is a big help to me and my family. With this, we can start a small business and I wil strive to expand it),” Cortez said.