- The ULF Team
Exceptional Talent in the Workplace: The Story of PWA Joemarie Espinosa
His supervisor sums up their wonderful experience with Joemarie in their workplace, with the hope of more job opportunities for PWDs. "Joemarie has been a productive employee in our agency. Kung mabibigyan pa siya ng training at interventions, I believe he can have a stable job in the future.”
Our team met Joemarie Espinosa during the 19th Forum on Employment for Young Adults with Autism held at the Manila Jockey Club, Carmona, Cavite last January 28. He was invited to speak on behalf of the young adults with autism in their town, who got the chance to work for a few months.
Joemarie was hired as a utility personnel in the Water District of Carmona. The agency has been a partner of the Persons With Disability Affairs Office for four years now. They offer summer job opportunities to PWDs to help them become productive members of the society. Ms. Jennifer Del Pilar, Public Relations Officer, shared their experience on hiring Joemarie.
Joemarie was one of the five PWDs that the agency hired. Among the five, he was the only employee with autism. He worked for two months in the summer of 2012. He was assigned to clean the office rooms, the pantry and the hallway.
"Masaya akong nagtatrabaho sa Carmona Water District. Tagalinis po ako, taga-tapon ng basura,” [I’m happy with my job at Carmona Water District. I was assigned to clean the office and throw the trash] Joemarie said.
His supervisor notes that Joemarie is punctual and polite. He is always the first to arrive in their office, and brings his lunch prepared by his grandmother. He goes to work riding a tricycle accompanied by his grandmother, or whenever he can ride with of one of their engineers.
At work, his supervisor noted Joemarie’s exceptional talent. "He is very systematic. Sinisecure niya yung trash cans ay walang laman. Nung nagtrabaho po siya sa amin, never kami na-i-stock-an ng basura sa basurahan. Yung regular utility namin, daig pa ni Joemarie. Twice lang nagtatapon ng basura, umaga at hapon. Si Joemarie, pag nakikita niyang may laman, itatapon na niya, automatic po yun." [He is very systematic. He always secures that the trash cans are empty. When he was working with us, our trash cans were never filled up. Our regular utility personnel would only empty the bins in the morning and in the afternoon. Joemarie, on the other hand, ensures that the bins are empty every time.]
Ms. Del Pilar also shares that aside from doing his usual tasks, Joemarie learned how to do clerical work, like photocopying and filing their receipts. Since he always keeps track of time, Joemarie points out whenever his officemates arrive late in the office. Nevertheless, he greets his officemates with a smile.
"Pag tapos na siya mag-work, hindi siya pagala-gala. Nakaupo lang siya sa admin office or andun siya sa pantry, nakikinig ng music sa headset niya. Nagtatanong din siya kung ano pa yung pwede niyang gawin." [When he’s done with his tasks, he does not loiter in the office. He just sits inside the admin office or at the pantry and listen to music. He also asks us if there’s anything else he can do.]
His supervisor sums up their wonderful experience with Joemarie in their workplace, with the hope of more job opportunities for PWDs. "Joemarie has been a productive employee in our agency. Kung mabibigyan pa siya ng pagkakataon to work with us longer, kung mabibigyan pa siya ng training at interventions, I believe he can have a stable job in the future.” [If he’s given the chance to work with us longer, and with the right training and interventions, I believe he can have a stable job in the future.]
With his commendable work and exceptional talent, Joemarie, together with another PWA, has been employed by the Municipality of Carmona to do administrative and clerical duties in the LGU since May 2015. Good job, Joemarie! Good job, Carmona!
Unilab Foundation, through Project Inclusion, seeks to build a more inclusive, a healthier Philippines through the employment of Persons with Disabilities, starting with those with Autism and Down Syndrome. We believe that hiring a PWD is good for the PWD, good for the team, and good for the organization, as proven in our book, "From Exceptionality to Exceptional: Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in the Workplace."