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Women's Month: Women drivers feted, share inspiring road stories

MANILA, Philippines — A 66-year-old single mother, a fresh graduate of Criminology and a former warehouse staff may not have anything in common at first glance, but all three women said they have found an avenue that gives them equal footing with men — and it pays well, too. 

The 66-year-old Arabe has been a taxi driver for 12 years in the chilly northern city of Baguio. It was a job she needed to augment her family's needs because she is a single parent. She used to work for a volunteer organization but she found that it was not enough for her family's financial needs. Five years ago, she found a more helpful avenue for her income by joining Grab, the transportation network vehicle service and a popular ride-hailing app. 

Sheryl Barrantes, meanwhile, worked an eight-hour job as a warehouse staff. She wanted to earn more money, thus she started to look for a side hustle. She confided, however, that there was a deeper reason why she wanted to earn as much as she could. 

"'Yung araw-araw na kita, 'yun 'yung kailangan ko talaga since nagda-dialysis po 'yung brother ko. Two times a week siya nagda-dialysis. Kailangan din ng pamilya ko," said Barrantes. 

She found Grab Express, and while she was at it, she realized she earned more from her side hustle than her regular job. After seriously considering her next step, she found herself among the drivers of Grab's partner motorcyle taxi company MoveIt. 

Arianne Hinara Claire Geguera needed money because she wanted to pass her Criminology board exams. 

"Gusto ko makatulong kina Mama at Papa. At saka, fresh graduate po ako kaya need ko ng review for board exams. I claim it na si Grab ang tutulong sa akin," said the fresh graduate from Iloilo. 

The three women are among recently honored women drivers at Grab and MoveIt's Babae Ako, Bibyahe Ako event held last March 17 in Metro Tent, Pasig City. 

"The goal of Grab for 2024 is to expand its number of female drivers on the platform because Grab has always been geared at creating livelihood opportunities that are inclusive," said Gallen Villanueva, Assistant Public Relations Manager at Grab Philippines. 

Apart from awarding last March 17, the women drivers and their families