JUST IN: Free bikes issued to displaced workers going into food delivery jobs

HSBC Philippines
Metro Manila Free Bikes
Displaced workers in Metro Manila riding their mountain bikes during the kick-off ceremony. Screengrab from the ceremony.

Hundreds of free bikes have been issued to Metro Manila workers who can venture into food vending and delivery jobs.

The workers who were displaced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic were awarded the bicycles in simultaneous events held in Intramuros, Mandaluyong, Pasig, and Muntinlupa, on Facebook Live ceremonies held on October 26, 2020, led by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

DOLE began the launching of the nationwide project called ‘Free Bisikleta or FreeBis Project’ by awarding the 1st half of 850 bikes to workers hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic in NCR.

The ‘FreeBis’ project was launched under the Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program through Administrative Order No. 188-A, Series of 2020, to enable the affected workers to venture into food vending and delivery service jobs through partner companies such as Grab and Lalamove.

The rest of the bike units will be awarded in the municipalities of Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela, Taguig, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Quezon, Pasay, Makati, Marikina, San Juan, and Pateros on October 27, while Caloocan will be on October 28.

The 850 informal economy workers were given a livelihood package composed of a bicycle unit, helmet, raincoat, water bottle, thermal bag, reflectorized vest, bicycle rack, cellphone unit (android) with an e-loading wallet worth Php 5,000.

The beneficiaries went through a series of seminars regarding basic safety and health standards, traffic regulations, simple bookkeeping, productivity, and savings to ensure that the sustainability of the project.

Here are some of the announced number of beneficiaries per municipality:

Malate Manila – 124
Manila City, Ermita – 132
Caloocan City Hall – 44
Malabon City Hall – 22
Navotas – 22
Valenzuela City- 44
Makati City (District 1 & 2) – 44
Pasay City Hall – 22
Muntinlupa City Hall – 22
Parañaque City – 44
Pasig City- 22
Mandaluyong City – 22
San Juan City – 22
Pateros – 22

Cebu City in Visayas and Mindanao are already preparing to replicate the initiative.

Iloilo’s displaced workers were previously given emergency jobs to counter COVID-19 impact while 500 workers from Sultan Kudarat were given emergency employment after the earthquake devastation in the area.

Lalamove had also earlier hired jeepneys as part of their delivery crew while foodpanda hired tricycles.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to the displaced workers who are receiving bikes for them to venture into the food vending and delivery industries.

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Alyssa Leyda-Aldemo
Alyssa Leyda-Aldemo was a contributor in the News Letter of her former agency and is currently a content writer on her church's website and social media platform. She is now a full-time housewife who wants to re-ignite her passion for writing.