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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

DOLE-ECC, DA introduce ‘SYOBE’ to persons with work-related disabilities

By Dominic I. Sanchez

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Persons with work-related disabilities here were introduced to SYOBE, or the Start Your Own Business Enterprise, which is a livelihood program initiated by the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) in partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA)-9, during a social preparation orientation held last April 12.  

DA-9 Regional Technical Director Peter Andalahao introduced the beneficiaries of the program to the SYOBE, encouraging them “to spread this information among others who are still working, but disabled,” adding that the DA will provide training through convergence with other agencies such as meat processing, packaging and marketing.

In an interview, Anabell Madraso of DA said that the agency would provide materials to help its beneficiaries start with their business subject to monitoring and evaluation to ensure sustainability.

About 10 beneficiaries were present during the orientation and Jerrick Go of the ECC is expecting that more will avail themselves of the program in the future.
According to ECC regional advocacy focal person Cerna Ahmad, the program beneficiaries may come from both the government and private sectors, persons who have been disabled while performing their work.

In addition to SYOBE, the beneficiaries are also entitled to other compensation benefits afforded to them such as physical therapy and rehabilitation services.

Meanwhile, Madraso urges those employees with physical disabilities to avail of the services given them by the government. “Even those who have disabilities can still be very productive and earn a good business,” she said.

On the other hand, DOLE-9 Assistant Regional Director Yahya Centi encouraged the beneficiaries to “change their mindsets to become more successful.”

“We have to be more positive in our mindsets for us to be more competitive. Learn new skills, acquire new knowledge,” he said. (Shiela May Aquino)