Some 28 beneficiaries from San Juan City, Metro Manila, benefitted from the BikeCINATION Project of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on October 14, 2021, which amounted to a total of P560,000.00.

DOLE-National Capital Region (NCR), through its PAPAMAMARISAN Field Office led the awarding ceremony together with the City Government of San Juan’s Public Employment Service Office (PESO).

In her message, DOLE-NCR Assistant Regional Director (ARD), Atty. Marion S. Sevilla, expressed her gratitude to the City Government of San Juan on behalf of Regional Director, Atty. Sarah Buena S. Mirasol, emphasizing the local government unit’s steadfast support in ensuring the implementation of the DOLE programs for their constituents. She also reminded beneficiaries that the free bicycle units and other accompanying accessories are not for sale, urging the recipients to nurture and sustain the DOLE grant.

“Hangad namin na magsilbing bagong pag-asa ang ayuda na ito upang makaahon kayong muli kasama ang inyong pamilya. Tandaan, kahit tayo ay nagsusumikap sa ating paghahanap-buhay gamit ang mga libreng pangkabuhayan na ito, lagi tayong mag-ingat at sumunod sa mga alituntunin ng pamahalaan patungkol sa ligtas na paghahanapbuhay upang hindi tayo magkasakit o maaksidente,” she added.

Beneficiaries from San Juan City, including former promodiser Michelle S. Millena, thanked the labor department and the City Government of San Juan for the livelihood assistance, which will help augment their family income and sustain her online selling business.

“Malaking bagay po para sa akin dahil yung mga ino-order sa akin ay ma-dedeliver ko na gamit itong bike. Sana magtuloy-tuloy pa po itong programa na ito at marami pang matulungan na mga naghahanapbuhay na kagaya ko,” said Millena.

Another beneficiary, Glenda Tapia heavily relies on public transportation to buy and sell goods for her food business and the DOLE BikeCINATION livelihood aid will help bridge her concerns on mobility limitations due to pandemic.

“3 years na akong walang trabaho kaya patinda-tinda na lang ako ng pagkain. Magagamit ko itong bisikleta pang-deliver kapag may umoorder ng pagkain. Dati kasi umaasa lang ako sa mga dumadaang sasakyan. Tapos yung sa e-loading, pandagdag pa rin para magkaroon ako ng kita. Malaking pasasalamat ko sa DOLE sa binigay po nilang tulong,” said Tapia.

Driving a jeepney provided a certain financial stability to former overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Freddie Medenilla—until the COVID-19 outbreak. With the DOLE livelihood assistance, Medenilla have a new source of income for his family.

“Maraming maraming salamat po sa DOLE. Pandagdag pangkabuhayan ko ito lalo na kapag wala akong mai-drive na jeep. Yun na lang po ang aking panghanapbuhay sa aking pamilya,” Medenilla added.

The DOLE BikeCINATION is a special project under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program, which aims to cushion the impact of the pandemic by incentivizing informal sector workers in the A4 category who have completed two doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

As part of the assistance package, the awarded bicycle unit also came with an insulation bag, protective helmet, reflective vest, bike rack, water bottle, a cellphone unit (android) with an electronic load wallet worth five thousand pesos (P5,000), among others. Beneficiaries were also enrolled to an insurance coverage under the GSIS Group Personal Accident Insurance (GPAI) and went through a social preparation training to ensure the sustainability of the livelihood assistance.

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