BOUNCING BACK IN PEDALS: 

Free bike beneficiaries from Pasig, Pateros, Mandaluyong, Marikina, San Juan thankful to DOLE

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) provided new livelihood opportunities for the 132 beneficiaries from Pasig, Pateros, Mandaluyong, Marikina, and San Juan through its Free Bisikleta (FreeBis) Project.

Majority of the beneficiaries, including Anthony Ludana, Maria Rita Nido, Randell Bayang, and Danico Abitria have resorted to online selling and the bike that comes with a helmet, raincoat, water bottle, thermal bag, reflectorized vest, bicycle rack, cellphone unit (android) with an e-loading wallet worth P5,000 from DOLE would serve as a good start to help recover from the pandemic-induced job crisis and mobility restrictions.

“Pa-sideline sideline lang ako kaya sumali ako dito sa pa-free bike ng DOLE,” said Anthony Ludana, 39 years old from Pasig City. “Gusto ko makatulong sa pagde-deliver ng pagkain. Magagamit ko yung bike pati po yung cellphone sa pag-contact ko sa mga customer ko para ma-deliver ko yung orders nila. Salamat po! Makakatulong ito sa pamilya namin,” he added.

Maria Rita Nido, 43 years old, was a former safety officer in a construction company. With no other sources of income, she sought the assistance of DOLE through Public Employment Service Office (PESO) in the City Government of Pateros.

“Nung dumating ang pandemic, na-experience ko po talaga yung hirap. Nagpapasalamat ako sa DOLE at PESO sa assistance habang wala pa kami talagang mahanap na trabaho. Napakalaking bagay sa isang single parent na katulad ko na may itinataguyod na anak,” she said.

Randell Bayang from San Juan City and Danico Abitria from Marikina City also went to their respective PESO in the hopes of finding a means of livelihood after losing their employment during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“2 years din ako dun sa dati kong trabaho tapos nung nagkaroon ng pandemic, lahat kami tinanggal. Kaya maraming salamat sa DOLE at PESO kasi nagkaroon ulit ako ng chance na magkatrabaho at masustentuhan ko yung anak ko at yung pamilya ko,” said Bayang who used to work in a trucking services company.

“Alam naman po ng lahat na hirap po tayong lahat sa transportasyon. Makakatulong po itong bike sa pagpapalago ng business namin para makapag-deliver ako ng mga paninda namin,” said Abitria who used to work in a supermaket.

Meanwhile, the 132 FreeBis livelihood assistance were distributed during the awarding ceremony of DOLE-NCR PAPAMAMARISAN Field Office in partnership with Public Employment Service Offices of local government units on October 26-28, 2020 with

22 awarded in Pasig, 22 in Pateros, 22 in Mandaluyong, 44 in Marikina, and 22 in San Juan as separately held in their respective areas.

In her message of support during the awarding ceremony, DOLE-NCR PAPAMAMARISAN Field Office OIC-Director Mary Grace L. Riguer-Teodosio urged the beneficiaries to be responsible stewards of the livelihood assistance awarded by the government.

“Sinasabi ng iba na ang oportunidad ay may limitasyon. Kaya ang lagi lang po naming inaasahan sa inyo ay maging matatag po kayo at magamit ng tama at maingatan ang mga kagamitan na ibinigay sa inyo dahil biyaya po ito. Nasa tamang diskarte po natin at nasa ating pagsisikap upang mapalago ang mga bagong kagamitan na ibinigay sa inyo,” she said.

DOLE-NCR Assistant Regional Director Marion S. Sevilla also joined the ceremonial turnover of the FreeBis livelihood assistance together with DOLE Assistant Secretaries Mariano R. Alquiza, Alex V. Avila, and Victor A. Del Rosario; local chief executives and PESO representatives.

END / Hershey Aquino with report from Edelyn Galos and Kristofferson Sta. Cruz