By Minka Tiangco
The Manila city government is planning to purchase 2,000 modern three-wheeler vehicles that can be safely used by pedicab drivers during the “new normal” brought about by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The non-conventional vehicles, made by Italian motor vehicle manufacturer Piaggio, are equipped with dividers and run on gas and diesel. There will be sufficient distance between drivers and passengers in the vehicle.
Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso presented Monday the light vehicles to drivers of the Balut PODA Rodriguez Line during a consultation.
Both the local government officials and the drivers agreed that those who wish to avail of the three-wheelers will have to pay only P1 as downpayment and around P188 installment daily for three to five years.
“Kakayanin po. Magandang oportunidad po ito at para makapagpahinga sa pagpapadyak (We will push ourselves to do that. This is a good opportunity so we can rest from driving the old pedicabs),” said Reneto Dandoy, one of the pedicab drivers present during the consultation.
Aside from the modern vehicles, each of the registered drivers will also get a cellphone, that will possibly be used for a cashless payment system.
“Pahirap nang pahirap ang buhay sa kalye ngayon. Iniisip ko kung paano pataasin ang dignidad ng mga naghahanap-buhay sa kalsada (Life on the streets is getting more difficult nowadays. I keep thinking about how I can boost the dignity of those who do their livelihood on the streets),” Domagoso said.