Jan 24, 2018 (Source: ECC REU 9)
Have you ever experienced feeling overwhelmingly blessed because things are going out as planned for you? What would you do, if with just a blink of an eye your life would change forever?

This is the story of Raymund T. Noot, married and a local of Olutanga, Zamboanga Sibugay Province. He worked as a “bodegero” (warehouseman) in one of the fishing companies in the west coast of Zamboanga City. Aside from his usual tasks of delivering goods to the warehouse, his work also involves hoisting fishing nets with fresh catch inside the vessel.

"Ang bilis ng pangyayari (everything happened so fast)", Raymund recounts. It was dawn of September 29, 2016 when the accident that would change his life happened. Raymund along with other workers were done for the day. As their boat was about to dock, the rope which was used to tug the boat towards the dock caught Raymund’s right leg, instantly amputating it.

That same day, he woke up in a hospital.

"Ilang buwan akong wala sa sarili tapos madali akong magalit," (I could not focus well for how many months and I was easily irritated with many things) he shares on his experiences after the accident.

Raymund claimed that among his worries after the incident were his physical appearance and his work as he can no longer perform his duties with his leg amputated. He feared that the company will no longer employ him.

Everything was unclear for him until the Social Security System (SSS) referred him to the Employees’ Compensation Commission IX (ECC 9) for their rehabilitation services.

ECC, an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) provides a bundle of programs and services for workers who experienced work-related sickness, injury or death.

Immediately after his first visit, Raymund was referred to ECC’s partner hospital for physical therapy in March 2017. He and his wife underwent debriefing with ECC 9’s Regional Program Manager, Mr. Jerrick Gerard Go, a trained psychosocial first aider. With the support of his wife, family, friends and ECC, Raymund was able to overcome his challenges.

To address his concern on Employment, ECC 9 wrote a letter to the Company Owner requesting for consideration in re-hiring Raymund and to explore possibility of re-assigning him to other units. ECC 9 assured support in terms of technical training provisions and provision of a functional below the knee prosthesis.

While waiting for his prosthesis to be ready, Raymund was re-hired and is now assigned as checker in the same company effective December 2017.

Finally, on January 16, 2018, Raymund received his functional prosthesis at the ECC 9 office in Zamboanga City.

Raymund said, "Nawalan ako ng paa at dahil doon ako ay nawalan ng pag-asa at tiwala sa mundo. Dahil rin sa pangakong ako’y magkakapaang muli, ako ay muling nangarap at nagpursigi sa buhay." (I lost all hope when my foot got amputated but because of the promise that I can obtain prosthesis, I began to dream again and persevere in life.)