Press Releases
Life is not defined by one’s disability

Born with a congenital skin disease which led to his having psycho social difficulties, Venerio Laureta or “Momoy” has always been dependent and reliant to others for the better part of his 31 years. He suffered ridicule and discrimination and hid himself away from society but with time he learned to see his potential. He wanted a normal life just like everyone else so he tried continuously to overcome his many difficulties.

With DOLE’s Employment Promotion Program that seeks to facilitate employment not only to informal workers but also to Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), LGU – PESO Baggao applied for livelihood assistance for underemployed skilled workers of the municipality under the DOLE Starter Kit program in 2016 which granted Momoy tools and equipment for his cellphone repair servicing endeavor.

When I heard about this opportunity, I did not hesitate to walk to the PESO Office to signify my interest to avail of the livelihood program,” Momoy said. “I believe, there are some things that I can’t do but there’s still a lot I can still do,” he added.

Momoy is a graduate of Consumer Electronic Servicing with earning units in Drafting Course at the Cagayan State University-Andrews Campus.  He had the opportunity to work as a draftsman in one of the public schools in Baggao but was short-lived because of the advent of computer technology.

Having no one to depend to, coupled with his self-doubts, he put up his cellphone repair shop in a small corner of their house in Barangay San Jose when he was 32 years old.  Due to the limited number of customers, he closed his shop and rented a stall at the Baggao Municipal Public Market. At first, he was not comfortable talking with his customers because of his skin disorder. This prompted him to hire a technician but because of the demand for his skills and the growing number of customers, he had to gradually reintegrate himself to the public and interact with people.  He then gradually realized that it was his abilities that counted

Momoy’s economic undertaking gradually grew into electronics servicing, selling of electronic parts, television box installation with repair and now the e-load wallet business as his latest business expansion.  Momoy was also able to acquire additional electronics tools and a 3.2 kilovolt watt (kvw) generator set and is now set to buy another 5 kvw generator set.  He was also able to acquire a sound system which is now one of the best in town. In cooperation and support to his community’s endeavor, Momoy lends his sound system either for a minimal fee or for free as well. 

Momoy was also able to put up a sari-sari store but was affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He hopes to re-open it when the economic condition of the country becomes stable.

PWDs desire relationships too but for Momoy, he thought no one would care to accept his love because of his physical appearance. He just wanted to grow up but unexpectedly, Momoy met Carmelita, thereby realizing that someone can accept him for who he is.  Nothing would be too great an obstacle, not even a handicap. True love was their foundation in starting their own family.

Momoy’s economic undertaking also contributed to the significant change in the life of his technician, Samuel Palad.  In his 4 years working with Momoy, Samuel was able to buy a second-hand tricycle, which is now an additional source of income and was also able to build his own house.  

As a law-abiding citizen, Momoy registered his business with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

Momoy has seen a lot in his 59 years of living with a disability. He has seen many of the barriers and attitudes toward people with disabilities.  But he has also seen many positive changes to get people with disabilities physically active through employment opportunities. “I don’t expect the world to revolve around me but I believe that my ability is stronger than my disability.”

I am lucky to have been among those who benefited from the DOLE-LGU program. This paved the way to developing my trust and self-confidence,” Momoy said. 

From a person who has been a subject of bully and discrimination, Momoy shares this message: “There is no single sparrow that fell to the ground without purpose.  So is with my disability.  But in my imperfection, God is able to show his perfection. In my weakness, God is able to show his strength and in my iniquity, God is able to show his goodness.  My livelihood today is not working well because of this pandemic that has changed life for millions of people especially to people like me. In times like these, hope can be a powerful source of reassurance. Many who are locked at home, others who are working to help and prevent the virus and the rest who are struggling in life like me and my family also need the reassurance and the hope that we shall overcome this.

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2020-07-21
Directors Corner

Atty. EVELYN R. RAMOS


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