TEARY-EYED, 63-year-old amputee Jerry Daniocop was filled with joy when he received his brand-new wheelchair for the first time on Wednesday.

The gasoline vendor from Poblacion, Dueñas lost both of his legs due to diabetes. Since then, he would crawl or kneel to move from one corner to another.

“Tuman gid akon nga kalipay nga may wheelchair na ako. Indi na ako mabudlayan sa pagubra (I am very happy now that I have a wheelchair. Working won’t be hard anymore),” Daniocop said.

Daniocop was among the 60 pre-identified beneficiaries of wheelchairs from Latter-Day Saints Charities (LDSC), a charitable institution operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

LDS Philippines Program Director George Kenneth Lee and Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. led the distribution of the wheelchairs for PWDs suffering from neuromusculoskeletal impairments.

Calinog Mayor Alex Centena, Provincial Administrator Raul Banias and PSWDO Chief Neneth Pador were also present to assist the two.

PWD Affairs Officer Mario Abaygar said other beneficiaries will receive clutches, walkers, and cane depending on their needs.

“There are supposed to be 60 beneficiaries here today but only few can make it to the ceremony due to the bad weather. Instead of going here, we will bring the donation to their homes,” Abaygar said.

The Province of Iloilo has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with LDSC last year for 600 wheelchair donations and additional 300 assistive devices for PWDs in 43 local government units.

Mormons were fasting every week and the savings out of their food budget were used to buy the wheelchairs and walking aids to help poor PWDs in the country.

He added that the PWDs from Iloilo were very lucky since they could avail most of their donations or twice the number of wheelchairs they gave out to other provinces.

“This donation will go a long way on helping poor PWDs in their line of work, in their schools or at home,” Lee said.

After receiving the donation, the beneficiaries are required to undergo community service for couple of hours in their respective villages. (PIO)