Press Releases
DOLE CALABARZON GIVES FREE BIKES TO WORKERS DISPLACED BY COVID-19

The Department of Labor and Employment has recently launched a new program for workers who have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dubbed as FreeBis or Free Bisekleta Project, qualified individual beneficiaries may now start a small vending or delivery business or upgrade their products or services to a greater number of customers. Group beneficiaries may also engage in one-stop shop for bicycles services, accessories and parts including fabrication and customization of bicycles.

“With the inaccessibility of public transport due to imposition of community quarantine, many took to cycling both as a means of commuting and staying fit to avoid infection. With that, Sec. Bello thought of giving the displaced workers particularly those in the informal sector with free bicycles,” DOLE IV-A Regional Director Henry John S. Jalbuena said.

Director Jalbuena added that those who are interested in the said program may go to the nearest provincial office of DOLE or Public Employment Service Office (PESO) for selection and profiling. They will have to undergo trainings on basic safety and health standards, traffic regulations, simple book keeping, productivity, savings and other related trainings that may be conducted in partnership with relevant agencies. Qualified beneficiaries will also be enrolled with GSIS Group Personal Accident Insurance (GPAI).

The launching of the said program in the CALABARZON region was held on October 26, 2020 at the Strike Gymnasium, Bacoor Government Center, Bacoor City, Cavite. Said launching was graced by Bacoor City Mayor Lani Mercado-Revilla, Vice Mayor Karen Evaristo and members of the City Council. Senator Bong Revilla also gave a video message to greet the beneficiaries. This was also joined by the launching by the local government of Mandaluyong, Muntinlupa, Pasig, and Manila. The DOLE regional offices in Region 2 (Cagayan Valley), 3 (Central Luzon), and 5 (Bicol) also joined. A total of 900 free bikes for the initial rollout of this project.

“We have chosen the City Government of Bacoor as we have noted the remarkable innovation of the LGU on assisting displaced informal sector workers, specifically tricycle drivers, and providing with income-earning capacity by placing them as delivery riders in various online delivery service platforms,” Director Jalbuena mentioned.

On her part, Mayor Lani Mercado expressed her appreciation to DOLE CALABARZON for choosing them as the first recipients of the package and for forging a strategic partnership with them.

Aside from the bicycles, recipients also received water bottle holders, mountain bike rear carriers, insulated leather bags, helmets, reflectorized vests, raincoats, android phones and P5,000 worth of prepaid load.

This initiative aims to provide viable niche for entrepreneurial activities that will benefit the COVID-19 affected sectors belong to the local informal economy.


by:


FRANZ RAYMOND J. AQUINO
Regional Information Officer-Designate

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2020-10-26
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