The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has approved Thursday last week the release of funding for Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentadoâ€™s rent-to-own tri-sikad scheme.
Boholâ€™s 2nd District solon said DSWD Region 7 Director Mercedita Jabagat has approved the release of funds to cover the cost of 50 units of bicycles with sidecars â€“ 30 for Ubay town and 20 for Bien Unido town.
At P6,000 each tri-sikad, he said, the DSWD 7 livelihood assistance will total P300,000.
Aumentado said the latest assistance is in addition to the P27,389,122 worth of checks he has distributed to 7,623 individual beneficiaries in 156 barangays out of the total 349 villages in the 2nd District in just 1-1/2 years. He started the distribution of the funds from the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) only in January 2014.
The solon had earlier pushed for the organization of the tri-sikad drivers into formal groups. This way, the members will be eligible to â€œrent-to-ownâ€ a unit â€“ in amortization amounts and terms that the organization will agree upon â€“ usually one year.
As soon as the cash starts trickling in, the members can decide on which venture their organization will embark on: vulcanizing shop or tri-sikad/sidecar spare parts supply. From there, the groups can even branch out into other businesses as the members deem fit and viable â€“ like renting-to-own a motorcycle instead of a bicycle to attach the sidecar to.
Aumentado and Jabagat will meet again on Aug. 4 to finalize the scheme and the turnover schedules.
The bicycles with sidecars will ply the secondary and tertiary routes within the Poblacion and nearby areas of either town.
Member-drivers have perks: they get enrolled in the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) through the Don Emilio del Valle Memorial Hospital in Ubay, and in a tie-up with the United States Agency for International Development, get lectures and other assistance on planned parenthood.
Aumentado said renting to own is better than mere renting because in the latter, the driver pays the owner for as long as he uses the unit â€“ or â€œforeverâ€. With the former, if the driver religiously pays the rent daily, he gets to own the unit within a year. (June S. Blanco)