Drive Safely: Life of a Sikad Driver #PlsSaveMe #FinancialLiteracy

It's not wrong to be ambitious, to reach the impossible star — but you should know your limit.

Being a "sikad" driver doesn't  need educational attainment, most of them never finished their studies due to financial  problems.

As a part of #PlsSaveMe campaign for financial literacy,  I interviewed our neighbor 
Kuya Emmanuel, a trisikad or sikad driver here in our barangay. He ended up working as a trisikad driver because for him it is easier to earn money than going to the office and have a minimum salary that can't  sustain his family needs. Read his story below.

For him, driving a sikad is one of the fastest ways to earn & support his family daily needs.

˝Just call me Eman, a high school graduate and I lived in with my Aunt when my parents died
 in an accident. At a very young age, I make my own living and help my Aunt with her finances. I learn to be independent  & responsible in everything.˝

˝At age 26, I got married and have a son. I'm still living with my Aunt together with my family
. In my 34 years as a sikad driver, with a daily income range around 200-500 per day, for me, it's better compared to apply for a government position, having a salary of 300-400 per day with deductions.˝

˝My dream is to have my own house. To enroll myself in college, to send my son to a private school. And to have our business.˝


˝My ordeal started  when I got hooked with the Small Town Lottery(STL) game. I have an average income margin 201-400 plus, 60% so in a month I have 6,030-12,000 more or less (depend also with the weather).˝

˝I was so relaxed with my income that I never imagined I will be in a situation that I don't know how it started. All I remember is that I was curious what the others are doing, lining up going to an STL Booth. And I try, why not for "pampalipas oras".  My friend taught me how to go starting from a P5 bet to P100+ more. Well, the number bets are designed to bring in more money, the more the closer I am into a winning percentage. And this time, it's not "palipas oras"., it's not anymore a game - I bet from P5 now I can spend P1000+++ more, now I'm into gambling.˝

"The swertres 824 for example, is amounting to P50 and if you're lucky, you win P25,000. And for 4D=P10 and your bet numbers are 0824 you will win P40,000. I keep on gambling, sometimes I won and mostly I loss. For almost six years playing STL, I did not notice that I was already addicted to the game, my finances were slowly decreasing.˝

˝My family suffered a lot, and I'm so thankful that President Rodrigo Duterte ordered stoppage of all gaming schemes operated like Lotto and Small Town Lottery. And after he lifted the ban of lotto, STL remain CLOSE here in my city due to the many violations.˝

"Gambling really changed my life, and I know it will be impossible for me to achieve my dream, to enroll myself in college, to have our own house, to send my children to private school, to have our own business with my wife, all these did not prosper.  I know that even those who have a better-paying jobs would feel the pinch of exploitation: LOTTO, STL all about gambling will STOP your dream & ambition in life."

"Today, I'm beginning to renew myself. For me, lotto and STL are not my primary tool to lift up from poverty. Go back to basic, to work hard and always think the welfare of the family. Almost all - if not all - people here in the Philippines are exploited in this kind of gambling. Some are not aware they are into that thinking,  ˝I'm not like them˝, ˝I can handle my gaming˝ etc..   This is because we are not satisfied with the money we make out from our job, in effect, our family & relatives will suffer a lot."

It's OK to play games, but now, NO TO GAMBLING.
Safe Drive.
Know your LIMIT.

~Kuya Eman, 50 years old

BUSCOPUDA Sikad Operator 

Kuya Eman will not see himself suffer again from the exploit of gambling,  if he only thinks of his family's  welfare. I surmise that Kuya Eman is, in a way, lucky to have no employer. He may not be living the life of what he's  aiming for, but in reality nobody would tell him what to do or not to do. 


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