Butuan City- Through the help of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Caraga, eight (8) persons with visual impairment are now licensed massage therapists (LMTs).
Among the list are Marilyn Edmilao, Daryl Cadavos, Erwin Batoon, Elsa Maglangit, Rodel Reyis, Fritzie Ann Binega, Adora Bandola, and Beverly Lucille Consad who are all residents in the city.
According to Wilma Geralla, focal person for Persons with Disability (PWD) sector, these visually-impaired masseurs passed the massage therapist licensure examination on June 3, 2016 held in Davao City. They underwent written, oral, and practical test.
“But before the examination, they attended the training on massage therapy for 30 working days in a training center accredited by the Department of Health (DOH). They were taught about different styles in massaging commonly applied in the center,’’ said Geralla.
“Massage therapy is the no. 1 income-generating opportunity for Filipinos who are visually impaired, that’s why the Department initiated to capacitate, educate, and train them to help uplift their quality of life,’’ she added.
Daryl Cadavos, one of 8 licensed massage therapists, shared her hardships and testimonies during the training and examination period.
“Dili sayon ang amung gi-agian gikan sa training hangtud sa final exam. Pero kadtong tanan nabayran tungod kay dako ang akong kalipay nga nahimo nako karun nga LMT. Kini ang akong mahimong sumbanan nga makakita ug mas maayong trabaho (The experience we had from the training and final exam was quite difficult. But all of those were paid-off because I am now a licensed massage therapist. This will be my opportunity to look for a better and decent job),” said Cadavos.
To sum up, a total of Php171,000.00 was allocated by DSWD for this intervention including the examination fee and travelling expenses for them.
With this, the Department is planning to train next year another batch of persons with visual impairment including other PWDs.###(ABEGAIL R. ALVAREZ/Social Marketing Unit/DSWD Field Office Caraga)