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Mon, Aug 18, 2014 (Source: ZCFO)
Every year, during the implementation of livelihood programs, the DOLE Zamboanga City Field Office allocates at least five percent of its funds for PWDs. This is in recognition of their role in nation-building and the desire to assist PWDs gain better living standards for themselves and their families. Where are they now? And have their lives really been for the better since they became recipients of DOLE’s Starter Kits? Being persons with disabilities didn’t make life easy for them from the start. Nevertheless, the stigma of being physically handicapped and the shyness caused by it was peeled away from their system. After all, life must go on, and there’s no time to think of handicaps as they continue to face the challenges for them and their families.

In celebration of National Disabilities Prevention and Rehabilitation Awareness Month, the DOLE revisited PWDs who availed of Starter Kits in their place of work.

These are their stories.

Elaine Jane Lumayno, Neolito Lumayno and Vivian Tejeros are from the barangay of Boalan, Zamboanga City. Elaine and Vivian were born in 1973. Both were born normal babies until poliomyelitis struck Elaine at the age of one year old and Vivian when she was eight months old. Neolito, Elaine’s husband, became orthopedically-challenged too after suffering a high fever. They availed of individual sewing showcases two years ago and proceeded to acquire 10 more sewing machines. Their shop, located at the junction of Divisoria and Boalan , caters to clients from Culianan, Mercedes, Boalan and Tetuan. They don’t charge as much as sewers in downtown areas do too. Pants for women come at P250 while men’s come at P280, blouses cost only P200 and they were able to get a master cutter who comes three times a week to do the cutting.

Going over to Vista Spa along Pettit Barracks St, which is managed by DSWD and run by massage therapists, , Janice, Rowena, Lorna, Carmen and Julia earn 50 percent of each customer serviced by the spa. They are the women masseurs trained by the DSWD’s Area Vocational and Rehabilitation Center (AVRC). Along with the male masseurs Alex, Maximo, Joey and Leystner, the masseurs cater to Zamboanga City’s residents at drop down prices compared to private spas. Vista Spa is open from Mondays to Saturdays from 10AM-9PM and on Sundays from 1:PM to 9PM.

Due to the large demand of customers, Vista Spa was recently renovated and now has four cubicles as compared to the previous two. A multilateral aid as a result of inter-agency convergence of various government agencies, the DOLE provided the complete livelihood package consisting of the air conditioner, futons, beddings and curtains worth over P100 Thousand.

“With these projects, we can say that we provided shared value funds to PWD recipients in this City”, says Chief Ian a Lahi.

“So lets spend government funds where they’ll get the best impact!”

Reported by Ms. Jeng A. Crudo, ZCFO

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