Honest pedicab driver in Tagum City returns P20-M worth of checks, cash

Published April 9, 2021, 1:18 PM

by Zea Capistrano

DAVAO CITY – A pedicab driver from Tagum City has gone viral after he returned to the owner cash and checks worth P20 million last week.

HONEST DRIVER. Pedicab driver Sofio Alo, Jr was recognized by teachers in Apokon Elementary School in Tagum City on April 5, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Geraldine Canlas / MANILA BULLETIN)

In an interview with The Manila Bulletin, 43-year-old Sofio Alo, Jr. said he has just come out of their house to ply his usual route on March 30 when the passenger left a pouch containing P20 million checks and around P1,000 in cash.

“Estimated amount po sa cheke ang P20-M ug gamay ra ang cash mga P1,070 po (The estimated amount of checks is P20 million and the cash is around P1,070),” Alo said.

Alo, who has been a pedicab driver since 2003, said the passenger left the pouch at the back of his tricycle. He said he was about to place bags of cement from another passenger when he found the pouch.

“Gitawag ko sa lalake kay mokarga ko semento, didto na nako nakita ang pouch sa likod. Naglibog ko kung ako ning ihatod didto (corner Pioneer Avenue and Quezon) wala ko kabalo kung asa sya didto (A male passenger called me to carry the cement and then I saw the pouch at the back. I got confused if I will return to where I dropped the passenger because I wouldn’t know where she is),” he said.

Alo said he decided to take the pouch home to ask his wife whose elder sibling knows a local official. They were asked to go to the City Hall to arrange the turnover of the lost valuables.

Incidentally, while Alo was on his way to the City Hall the next morning, a barangay police and the passenger showed up outside their home.

The passenger apparently asked help from local authorities to check the CCTVs installed in the area. Alo said that is how his address was located.

“Nakita ang number sa akong pedicab, ug pangalan, ilado man pud ko diri (They saw my pedicab’s number and people here know me),” he said.

Alo said despite hardships, he values honesty and integrity as a person and wants his children to grow up with the same values.

“Ginatudlo gyud nako na sa mga bata, kay lisod na kung lahi ilang matun-an (I make it appoint to teach it to my kids because it would be difficult for them not to have the same values),” Alo added.

Alo said before the pandemic started, his gross daily income from driving his pedicab reaches P700 to P800. However, these days his net income is only around P300 per day.

Alo reminded his fellow drivers to be honest to their passengers.

“Kitang mga tricycle driver dapat honest gyud ta sa atong pasahero kay dili lalim magpakaon og dili nato gihagoan (As tricycle drivers we must be honest to our passengers because it is not good to feed our family from something which we didn’t work hard for), he said.

Alo was given recognition by the Apokon Elementary School’s Project WATCH (We Advocate Time Consciousness and Honesty). Alo also said he received grocery items from a business entity.