Iba ‘Yan: Angel Locsin helps uplift plight of affected tricycle drivers in pandemic

Tricycle drivers have been one of the most severely affected by the pandemic. Their income lessened dramatically because of certain policies imposed during the community quarantine, including the one passenger per ride policy. As such Angel Locsin reached out to various tricycle drivers associations (TODAs) around the metropolis to extend assistance to affected drivers in the October 25 episode of Iba ‘Yan.

One of them is Lino Bernas, a tricycle driver from Fairview, Quezon City. His father works as a farmer and a fisherman, while his mother is a housewife. He shared that he came from a less privileged family in their province. He also didn’t get to finish his studies as he was forced to work already. He worked in a factory for 17 years but later on decided to leave his job there as it was not enough for his family. The retirement fee that he got was used for the downpayment of the tricycle that he bought. And because of the pandemic, he only earns half of his original income. But because of sheer hard work, he was able to provide education for his three children who all finished their studies. One is a call center agent, the other is an engineer, and the other one is a teacher. 

Because of Lino’s devotion to his family, and his dedication to his work as a tricycle driver amidst the health crisis, Angel and the Iba ‘Yan team provided him COVID-proofing materials for his tricycle, vitamins for his health, new tires, motor engine oil, and one-month supply of gas for his tricycle, and groceries.

Another hard working tricycle driver is Marissa Villanueva who has been of service for nine years already. She used to work for 17 years in Japan as an entertainer but was forced to go back to her family when his dad suffered from a lung disease. All of her savings were used for the hospitalization of her father who unfortunately passed away after three months of fighting the illness. Marissa encountered more problems when she got separated with her husband. But she never chose to give up in life.

In 2007, she met her current partner who encouraged her to work as a tricycle driver. From then on, Marissa got interested in the job and later on became her primary means of livelihood for her family. Marissa also has two children who are very much proud of her. She admitted that ever since the pandemic began, she has been earning much lesser. 

Iba ‘Yan also gave Marissa vitamins, COVID-proofing materials for her tricycle, groceries, one-month worth of boundary payments to the operator and supply of gas. They also gave her two tablets and a pocket WIFI for the online schooling of her children. Both Lino and Marissa also received a “pamapasada package” including gloves, face shields, facemasks, and jackets, sanitation package. Iba ‘Yan also teamed up with Grabayanihan to help Lino and Marissa in getting an alternative job as drivers for Grab Philippines’ car ride-hailing service.

Angel also met Cessy Corpuz-Oliva, wife of Rolie, a former tricycle driver. Cessy described Rolie as a very loving husband and a hardworking father. However, an illness traumatized and brought massive challenges to Cessy and Rolie and their whole family when Rolie was diagnosed with a movement disorder called X-linked dystonia-parkinsonism. It has been really hard for Cessy because she didn’t know at first how she’s going to provide for their family since Rolie couldn’t work anymore. That’s why she grabbed every job opportunity there is so she could provide for her family especially for the medicine maintenance of her husband. Their eldest son Carl is the one who helps him in taking care of Rolie. He said that sometimes he gets tired but he doesn’t mind because he loves his father so much.

Angel also got to talk to Brother Stanley Flores, a representative from I-Care, an organization which gives help and assistance to the less fortunate including tricycle drivers and their families. And one of their beneficiaries is Cessy and Rolie. 

Cessy considers their assistance as a great help considering that her youngest son also has health problems. Iba ‘Yan covered the maintenance medicine of Rolie with the help of ABS-CBN Integrated News and Current Affairs. They also gave him a homecare bed from LSG Industrial & Office Products, Inc. Iba ‘Yan also gave free medical check up for her youngest son with the help of Dr. Bernadette Manalo-Arcena. It didn’t stop there because Iba ‘Yan also gave Cessy a bigasan package that can help her earn more for her family.