“Unrecognized Heroes on the road but a Driver towards Development”: The DATODA Success story

Written by: Rosanna Pandes-Constantino

Drivers are one of the dignified and silent heroes in our society. Their service to the people is unwavering exerting hard labor with minimal income. Despite of oil price hike and high maintenance cost they tried to survive just to provide the needs of their families at the same time impart on the delivery of transportation access to the general public. In Barangay Damires, New Lucena, Iloilo the tricycle drivers are example of thriving individuals who diligently render good service to the commuters. Mostly, their daily income is only enough to buy gasoline and a ganta of rice because of scarcity of passengers compared to number of tricycles on cue.

As part of the intervention of the Solution Ecosystems Activator (SEA), Inc in New Lucena, organizing the transport sector was one of the focus to involve and capacitate them. SEA was able to formed the group of tricycle drivers into an association last November 2022 called “Damires Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association” (DATODA). SEA was one of the instruments that their sector is now represented at the municipal level. It is likewise one of the Collective IPAT-SIAD Team (CIT) member of SEA in partnership with the LGU of New Lucena.

With their engagement to IPAT-SIAD program, their concerns were upscaled to the barangay and municipal level. Through their association, they can easily get information and availed some of the privileges like the cash subsidy from the national government.

As they continue engaging with the IPAT-SIAD program of SEA, they were able to acquired legal identity with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on October 2023. The group members were glad knowing that since their association is already registered, they can now officially present their identification to the agencies concerned.

After having a registration, the group is now planning to conceptualize a project that could cater the needs of their members and others. Their proposed “Motorcycle Shop” will be materialized with the active support of all the members and readiness of the association. Further technical assistance still needed to enhance their leadership, management and participation. However, they are motivated to unite and pursue the mission of their association as they render responsible service to the commuting public. 

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