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Pedicab in the Philippines
Pedicab - A unique transportation in the Philippines
A pedicab or locally known as "sikad", "trike" and " padyak" is a three-wheeled vehicle that can carry 2 passengers in a covered rear seats. It is also use to transport vendors items . This environment friendly type of transportation is very common in places with narrow streets where jeepneys & buses are prohibited . Pedicab too , can be found in queue in public elementary and high schools, churches, wet markets, some government agencies , non- exclusive subdivision & busy streets of shopping districts.
Being a Pedicab driver is not easy
Pedicab drivers need to have a strong lower limbs and physically healthy. Their job is one of the toughest in the world . Pedicab drivers are exposed to the heat of the sun, dust, sweating a lot when it i s a sunny day while wet and cold when heavy rain falls.
Riding in a bicycle alone for long hours is definitely tiring. Pedicab drivers are carrying 2 passengers plus their belongings and to pedal it for so many hours in a day is really exhausting for them and also will cause too much stress to joints in their legs.
Pedicab drivers does not require to have a license to operate but they must be a registered member of a certain association or group organized by local authorities . Each group or association have a specific area to which only members can queue and wait for the passengers. This promote a healthy environment for the drivers and to prevent "snatching " of passengers anywhere which will sometimes cause chaos to fellow drivers.Violators face penalty which depend to the degree of the violation committed.
Earning less than 7$ a day , is it enough?
The fare of the pedicab range from 5 pesos ( 0.10 $ ) to 25 pesos (0.58 $ ) per passenger. The fare depends on the distance, weight of the belongings of the passenger and the kind of road of a destination. Pedicab drivers are mostly cheerful and chatting the passengers while pedaling . These attitudes make their job easier, not minding the tiredness of their legs . If passenger is satisfied with the service given , he/she would be happy to give an extra small amount (tip) for the driver and usually would hire the same pedicab next time which we call in filipino language "suki ".
The average income of a pedicab driver in a day is 200 pesos ( roughly 5$) to 300 pesos ( 6.5$) and considered to be a lucky day . The hard earned money will meet the basic necessities of the day . Drivers can not afford to have a rest day even sometimes when they are sick. No income , no food in the table .
Pedicab too is used by the street vendors to transport their items like street food, cheap plastic wares, 2nd hand clothing, accessories and fish. They go around from block to blocks with the aid of the horn and music, they catch buyers attention. It is convenient for the buyer , no hassle for going to the shops, also , for the vendor , worry -free for the stall rent which almost cut a quarter of their daily income.
Life is hard for many Filipinos but being gifted with optimism, faith, wise disposition, patience and hardwork, then , Filipinos always rise every dawn with a smile and a hope ; ready to face life challenges .