Press Releases

In the busy public market of Brgy. Batong Malake, one may hardly notice a pedicab driver taking commuters to the nook of Barangays Bayog, Mayondon, and Malinta in Los Baños, Laguna. He would pedal back and forth chasing two to three kilometers for Php20.00 to Php25.00 in an effort to earn Php350 to Php400 a day. This is Manong Pedro, a member of the Batong Malake, Malinta, San Antonio, Bayog Pedicab Operators and Drivers Association.

Life was never the same for this pedicab driver after the pandemic hit. The road was not his workplace for 34 years. He used to work for a company nearby with the thought of having his retirement two years from now. As a regular worker, he would never have thought that he would be laid off after the suspension of work due to community quarantine.

For a breadwinner like Manong Pedro, having a steady income stream is necessary for family sustenance. It is not surprising why he turned to an alternative source of income. Although his three children are already grownups, he still has one of them under his care with two grandchildren. He has a housewife who looks after the family and maintains the home.

It was when he had no work that driving a pedicab became the primary source of income for Manong Pedro. He sought help from an operator to rent a pedicab for Php50.00 as a boundary fee. This would be the rental amount to be deducted from his gross earnings daily. While this would comprise roughly 10% of his daily income, the amount is significant for someone who intends to make the most of his sweat and toil.

This is why Manong Pedro applied for livelihood assistance under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP). DOLE Laguna Provincial Office Director Guido R. Recio keeps the door open to vulnerable sectors of society such as displaced workers. With a feasible livelihood project at hand, the displaced worker turned pedicab driver was able to secure a ride of his own.

He received a bicycle and a sidecar that became his bread and butter. The brand new pedicab coupled with micro-insurance and technical assistance comprises the kabuhayan grant.

Recipients of kabuhayan assistance are also encouraged to submit monthly reports. This will be the basis to monitor the progress of the livelihood undertaking. Beneficiaries who were able to sustain the project may ask for further assistance. Kabuhayan enhancement is meant to boost income opportunities at par with regular workers.

DOLE Laguna’s livelihood focal, Ms. Lorena Gacosta, has been closely monitoring the progress of livelihood grants. Site visits may be conducted from time to time to verify the reports. This way, the office could also extend the necessary assistance.

With the commitment of Manong Pedro to his newfound source of income, his labor will never go unnoticed by his family grateful for the contribution of the hardworking breadwinner.


Senior LEO

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