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HomeAdvertisementsWomen padyak drivers see hope in DOLE’s full-cycle assistance

Women padyak drivers see hope in DOLE’s full-cycle assistance

In an informal livelihood activity lorded over by men, Maricel Bautista, a 50-year-old widow, and Analyn Narra, a 38-year-old single parent, demonstrate that it takes more than brawn to beat the demands of pedicab or ‘padyak’ driving along the streets of Intramuros, Manila. To prevail, they must radiate their innate conscientiousness in their jobs which, they shared, enable them to earn the trust of commuters inside the Walled City.

Maricel and Analyn are among the 120 residents of the five barangays in the Intramuros district who are recipients of the 1.9 million pesos Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) project that will enhance the existing transport service of pedicab drivers catering to local and foreign tourists, as well as public riders.

Full cycle assistance

The full-cycle assistance project, a sort of milestone for the DOLE’s livelihood assistance program in Intramuros—its Central Office headquarters—will include cash aid or livelihood tools, as well as a bundle of assistance consisting of service quality training, pedicab rehabilitation, self-improvement packages, such as shoes and shirts, and medical services.

DOLE, through the Professional Regulation Commission, will provide free medical, optical, and dental services that the drivers may avail during the department’s 89th Founding Anniversary on December 8.

The National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) has developed a training module specifically for the padyak drivers, which will workshop them on service quality excellence as they act as tour guides to Intramuros visitors.

DOLE will also help the padyak drivers repair and rehabilitate their pedicabs and provide them with one-year accident insurance coverage. The beneficiaries earlier received shirts and shoes to enhance their transportation service.

Also, three Intramuros informal sector workers were awarded 30,000-peso worth of Nego-Karts or the Negosyo sa Kariton, a livelihood program component of the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP).

Capping the list of assistance to the 120 padyak drivers is their inclusion in the TUPAD project or the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers. They will receive a 10-day worth of daily wage rate while working in their respective barangay’s clean and green projects.

Earlier, the DOLE National Capital Region reported that the first batch of the 121 tourism department-trained tour guides servicing local and foreign tourists around Intramuros received a livelihood upgrade from DOLE.

Labor Secretary Bienvenido E. Laguesma awarded the Pedicab Rehabilitation Package Certificates to the 42 pedicab drivers and Nego-Karts for three vendors.

Charity at home

Secretary Laguesma said DOLE’s goal is ultimately to provide livelihood assistance and training for long-term financial independence. He also emphasized the need to enhance the image of the said beneficiaries because they also serve as one of the symbols and faces of tourism in Intramuros.

“Simple lamang po ang aming kahilingan sa inyo, sa atin pong mga benepisyaryo o mga tatanggap ng ayudang pangkabuhayan. Sinupin, pagyamanin ninyo ang inyong trabaho at negosyo. Nais naming makita na kayo ay magtagumpay. Maaasahan ninyo na ang Department of Labor and Employment ay laging aagapay sa inyo,” he said.

For Analyn Narra, DOLE’s aid will boost her primary source of livelihood. She singly raises her four teenage children and sends them to school with her hard-earned income from padyak driving.

Meanwhile, Marites Bautista said that with DOLE’s full cycle of assistance, she will feel a lot more confident in waging with the demands of her work. “Minsan inaaway ako sa pilahan, umaalis na lang ako. Pina-flat ang aking gulong. Naiinggit kasi sila sa akin kase sa akin pumupunta ang mga pasahero. Gusto kasi nila, malinis, maayos ang padyak driver,” she said. Now, with DOLE’s assistance, Marites will be even more empowered to assert her rightful space in the trade.

Analyn, Maricel, and the rest of the Intramuros padyak driver-beneficiaries look forward to the more holistic and sustainable DOLE assistance that includes not only financial and material aid but also character, personality, and values formation.

And for DOLE, which is celebrating its 89th founding anniversary on December 8, taking care of the informal sector workers in the Walled City is its steadfast assertion that charity must begin at home.

-END-

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