For the past three decades, a paralyzed man in Camiguin has been earning money through copra extraction. Copra is a term generally used for dried coconut kernels.
Jerome Nacaitano appeared on Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho (KMJS) in a recent episode. He had been working nonstop long after he couldn’t move his lower body anymore. The paralysis, he said, happened a month before he turned 18 years old due to a car accident.
The kernels used to be manageable when Jerome sat on his wheelchair. Eventually, he wound up feeling pain after sitting down for long periods. Instead, he chose to lie sideways in bed and work that way.
In order to get dried coconuts, Nacaitano makes purchases from the town’s kids. They sell it to him at PHP6 a piece, leaving them by his bed.
To pick them up, he uses a bamboo stick he had designed specifically for that purpose. Once the shell is skinned, they’re smoke-dried with the help of his nephew Jovy, then sold at PHP41 per kilo.
Nacaitano told KMJS uses the money he earns in order to pay off debts.
“It’s used to pay off loans,” he said in Tagalog. “PHP5,700 every month. It’ll be done on Tuesday, but I’m getting another one since I have no money left over.”
To help, the KMJS team brought him to see a specialist who confirmed that Nacaitano had complete spinal cord injury. He has since been registered under the Persons With Disability (PWD) list of the Department of Social Welfare, who vowed to monitor his well-being.
Photo: GMA Network