Philippine Self-Help Foundation

A tricycle which is a motorcycle with a sidecar is the most common means of transportation in the smaller towns or cities in the Philippines. They are built in different styles and each place has its own unique design. The sidecar is usually made locally and is attached to the motorcycle. One or two passengers can sit behind the driver and several more can sit in the sidecar. In Cauayan where the PSHF has a field office, passengers stand on the back, front and even on the side of the tricycle in peak hours.

Mark Joseph  (25) rides a tricycle to support his wife Jonalyn (29) and their two children, Allana (5) and Mark Robinson (4). The family lives in an old two-bedroomed tin-roofed bamboo house in Matab-ang in Masaling, a quiet neighbourhood with a dozen or so light-framed houses. Most of their neighbours earn a living from farming.

Mark has been transporting passengers with his tricycle for six years now. Last year, his vehicle broke down frequently and so he had it overhauled for a total cost of 15,000 pesos. His and Jonalyn’s savings from their pig raising project amounted to only 10,000 pesos and so they borrowed 5,000 pesos from the PSHF to have the overhaul completed. They fully paid back the loan recently.

The month of January is the time for renewing local business permits in Cauayan. Unfortunately Mark was not able to process his renewal nor did he renew his driver’s permit because he did not have the funds to do so. Sadly at Christmas time last year, Mark’s mother, Marilou Tuson became seriously ill and was diagnosed with kidney failure. She stayed for three weeks at the public hospital in Bacolod, the provincial capital, for treatment. Thankfully she has recovered, although since last month she has been undergoing twice-weekly dialysis sessions. Jonalyn was the one who looked after her in the hospital while Mark and his siblings contributed funds to pay for their mother’s medical bills.

Mark is in dire need of funds now because he cannot go on transporting passengers on his tricycle without having the necessary documents. This is the reason why he is again seeking a loan of 12,000 pesos from the PSHF. This amount will enable him to pay for the following: renewal of his business permit as well as the penalty (for late filing) (3,600 pesos); the renewal of his for-hire permit (5,000 pesos) and his driver’s license renewal (2,000 pesos). At the same time, he also needs to buy three new tires at 600 pesos each.

When he was still working, Mark rode his tricycle six to seven days a week, taking a break only at midday when the sun was at its hottest. He earned an average of 2,000 pesos ($40) per week. As for Jonalyn, she keeps a vegetable garden in her backyard to supplement Mark’s income. Here she grows eggplants, tomatoes, pumpkin, string beans, okra and bitter gourd. Neighbours come to buy from her and in a week, she can make an average of 300 pesos ($6) from the sale of her vegetables. This is spent on miscellaneous expenses such as Allana’s fares to go to pre school in the centre of barangay Masaling.

Mark and Jonalyn managed their first PSHF loan well and were prompt with their monthly payments and so are deserving of this further assistance from the PSHF.

Bernadette G. Togado

PSHF Negros Occidental-South

March 2018