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PIA Press Release
2009/02/20

From "habal-habal" drivers to entrepreneurs

By Jocelyn P. Alvarez

Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay (20 February) -- Alicia Single Motors Association (ASMA) was undeniably overjoyed as the association received from President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo a check amounting to Php 205, 650.00 as livelihood assistance under DOLE's Workers in the Informal Economy Program (Worktrep) during the President's visit in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay Province on Feb. 20 in time for the weeklong celebration of the "Araw ng Sibugay", 8th Founding Anniversarry.

The funds will be used for the "training cum-production on motorcycle repair and vulcanizing" of the association's 105 members, said Jabel Abdurakman, President, ASMA.

ASMA is an association of habal-habal drivers. Habal-habal is a two-wheeled motor vehicle transformed into public transport system, a common carrier in rural areas. This is regular public conveyance in routes where these cannot be traverse by a four-wheeled vehicle.

These make the riding public convenient to the immediate services it provides. The trend has afforded gainful employment and source of livelihood income to those who have ventured into this type of business operations as drivers and owners.

ASMA was organized thru the coordinated effort of PESO and support of LGU Alicia, Zamboanga Del Sur.

ASMA is presently engaged in gasoline retail business located strategically in the municipal highway of Alicia. The gasoline refilling station was put-up thru the individual contribution of each member.

From the concerted effort of each member, ASMA slowly rose and gain sustainability powered by will and determination of the members to succeed to improve way of life.

ASMA has been in existence for ten years now but was registered under DOLE only on March 14, 2007.

The check handed by PGMA will boost the morale of each members and provide sustainable livelihood assistance to ASMA.

The "training cum-production on motorcycle repair and vulcanizing" will acquaint the members the mechanics on motorcycle repair and vulcanizing. An output of this training will provide them livelihood projects under the concept of cooperative undertaking.

Jabel Abdurakman, President, ASMA said "nagpasalamat mi gikan sa local sa Alicia padulong sa DOLE, ngadto kay PGMA, gumikan niani, matabangan ang among asosasyon na mulambo" (we are thankful to the local gov't of Alicia, DOLE and to PGMA. This will be of great help to our association to progress)

"Sukad sa napulo ka tuig sa among asosasyon, karon ra jud mi nakadawat ug hinabang, karon sa panahon ni Presidente Gloria Arroyo" (This is the first time in 10 years that the association has received such assistance, only in President Gloria Arroyo's term) he tearfully added.

"Mas maningkamot mi run para ipakita sa presidente na wala sya nasayup sa pagtabang sa amoa, nga dili masayang ang kwarta nga gihatag sa amoa, paga ampingan namo kining iyang tabang kanamo.." (We are challenged to do more and good to prove to the President that she made the right choice in helping the association and that the funds will not go to waste. We will be good stewards and will take good care of what she has given us) he sincerely concluded. (PIA 9) [top]

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