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Broken limbs, but unbroken dreams: Story of a PWD

 

The fall

 

“Wala akong malapitan. Wala akong kamag-anak dito.”

 

This is the outcry of Dionisio Alboroto, infected and crippled by the infectious and potentially deadly disease known as polio. He was only 6 months old when he was infected by the virus and never had the chance to take his first step and walk. From then on, Dionisio moved himself using his hands until by the age of 20 where he was provided with a chair and a pair of wheels.

 

At the age of 30, Dionisio was married to his wife, Milagros, who also shares the same condition. The two met in Tahanang Walang Hagdanan located in Rizal before they transferred in Gerona, Tarlac where they currently reside and started building their own family. Together, they struggle to make ends meet especially for their now eight-year old son.

 

Dionisio used to have a watch repair service located in Poblacion, Gerona. However, income in his watch repair service was not sustainable, and there were days that business is rather slack. On those days, he had to beg money from strangers just to put food on the table as if Dionisio’s life wasn’t difficult enough already. 

 

“Nasubukan ko ang manlimos, at kung saan saan ako nakarating— Batangas, Maynila. Ilang araw ako doon. Minsan isang linggo hindi ako umuuwi dito at ipapadala ko lang yung pera sa kanila,” Dionisio narrated. [I even tried begging for money, went far as Batangas and Manila, and stayed there for days. Sometimes I stay there for a week and just send money to them.] 

 

With this kind of living, Dionisio’s health suffered due to exposure to extreme heat. After months of ignoring and disregarding his pains, he woke up one day and told himself that something has to change.


Standing up again

 

In 2015, Dionisio went to the municipality of Gerona upon learning about the DOLE Livelihood Project. After submitting his requirements for the grant, he was first advised to attend the social preparation seminar (Entrepreneurial Development Training) to guide him on his startup. On the last day of the said seminar, Dionisio received the DOLE Kabuhayan Starter Kit consisting of a package of P5,000 worth of grocery items.

 

Dionisio immediately brought the grocery items at home, hanged and displayed them through his kawayan window. Little by little, the initial capital of P5,000 worth of goods grew into a small sari-sari store that it is today. After 4 years, Dionisio and his wife were able to build a concrete store as an extension of their house that can be easily seen by his neighbors and other passersby. His small store’s revenues range from P1,000 to P3,000 daily. 

 

 

For the differently abled

 

City of San Fernando, PAMPANGA, July 20, 2020 - Enjoining the nation this 42nd  National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Regional Office No. III continues to give priority to PWDs and promote their rights for equal opportunities.

 

Along with other beneficiaries, Dionisio is grateful to the Department and remains hopeful that every day is a step closer to his dream of a more comfortable life. Since then and until now, his condition, though difficult, has not been a hindrance for him to fulfill his responsibilities to his beloved family.

 

According to Regional Director Ma. Zenaida A. Angara_Campita, DOLE 3 has been committed as a partner of the government in upholding the rights of PWDs by providing them employment and livelihood opportunities. “Aside from our livelihood programs, we also do encourage private companies to include PWDs in their workforce, and gladly, some have heeded our call,” Campita said.

 

By virtue of Proclamation No. 361, the annual celebration of the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week is set on the third week of July which shall culminate on the birthdate of Apolinario Mabini, known as “The Sublime Paralytic.” The celebration begins on July 17 and ends on July 23.

 

END/ A. Cunanan

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2020-07-20
ZEN ANGARA-CAMPITA
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