PAGADIAN CITY, Feb 28 (PIA) - The people with disabilities (PWDs) in Zamboanga del Sur are overjoyed to receive livelihood kits from the national government.
The 58 pre-identified PWD beneficiaries from 18 municipalities in the province, accepted the sari-sari store package provided by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) under their livelihood and entrepreneurship program called 'Pangkabuhayan sa Pagbangon at Ginhawa'. They also received slippers, shoes, medicines and vitamins from the Provincial Disability Affairs Office (PDAO).
Gratitude for blessings received
Helena Ybanez, a PWD and resident of barangay Dumagoc in this city thanked the government for the blessings she has received.
"I am very grateful to the DTI and the provincial government for their great love for us PWDs who are in a very difficult situation. Like my situation, I am blind and have children to raise and care for," said the 43-year-old Ybanez in a vernacular, who lost her eyesight when she was 13 years old due to glaucoma.
She added that she will build a small store so that she can sell the grocery items given to her by the government.
"The assistance that I received is something that I will never forget in my whole life," Ybanez announced as tears welled up in her eyes.
Aries Cuario, a PWD resident of Upper Dimaya town in Dinas, said he is also very happy because he has just received livelihood kits, a help that he would be grateful for the rest of his life.
Government that cares
"Indeed, there is a government that takes care and loves us -- the PWDs who are unemployed. We are very happy because the sari-sari store package given to us by the government will help us a lot because through this we will have a daily income," said Cuario, the 40-year-old polio victim.
While Jenifer Lindio, an amputee, and resident of barangay San Jose, Pagadian City challenged her fellow PWDs. With the help they received from the government, she hopes that other PWDs will stop begging people for it is a shameful thing for them to do.
"I will challenge other PWDs to work and strive very hard and not to beg because I believe that each of us has been given a special talent by our Almighty Father and so that people do not look down on us," Lindio said.
Meanwhile, Flora Miraflor, provincial director of the DTI, said that this year, their agency is paying close attention to PWDs because this sector of society is also severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Miraflor told small business owners that the DTI shares with them to make the most of it to help them with their daily livelihood.
"I hope that this small business that we share with you will be used appropriately so that you can take full advantage of it and you will also nurture it to improve and help your living," Miraflor concluded. (RVC/GCC/PIA9-Zamboanga del Sur)