A group of fully vaccinated workers in Metro Manila received free bicycles through the BikeCINATION Project of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on September 21, 2021 as simultaneously held in Pasay and Marikina City.

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.

About 107 beneficiaries in Pasay and 56 in Marikina affected by the health and economic crisis received the free bikes that came with an insulation bag, protective helmet, reflective vest, bike rack, water bottle, cellphone (android), and an electronic load wallet worth five thousand pesos (P5,000) to support their food delivery start-ups.

As part of the assistance package, the beneficiaries were 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.

The main site for the official awarding of the BikeCINATION Project was held at the Epifanio Delos Santos Elementary School Quadrangle in Pasay City as conducted by the DOLE regional office in the National Capital Region (DOLE-NCR) together with its Makati-Pasay Field Office (MPFO) in partnership with the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) of the City Government of Pasay. Likewise, the simultaneous launching in Marikina City was held at Concepcion Integrated School Secondary Level through its PAPAPAMAMARISAN Field Office (PFO) in partnership with the PESO of the City Government of Marikina.

Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III and Pasay City Mayor Imelda Calixto-Rubiano graced the awarding ceremony in Pasay City together with DOLE-NCR senior officials, Atty. Sarah Buena S. Mirasol, Regional Director; Atty. Marion S. Sevilla, Assistant Regional Director; Atty. Russel A. Jallorina, Assistant Regional Director; Atty. Olivia O. Obrero-Samson, MPFO OIC-Director; and Lorna R. Obedoza, Division Chief of Employment Promotion and Workers Welfare together with PESO Pasay team headed by Filipinas Rosario Sampang. Earlier that day in Marikina City, DOLE-NCR Assistant Regional Director Sevilla led the awarding of livelihood assistance together with PFO OIC-Director Alicia L. Del Mundo and PESO Marikina team headed by Gil Munar.

21-year-old graduating college student Precious Shande Barda from Valenzuela City thanked the DOLE for the livelihood assistance, which she said will help support their online business, augment their family income, and finance her studies.

“Lumapit po ako sa DOLE kasi po alam ko po na makakatulong po sa amin ni mama sa pag o-online selling sa small business ko po na pang-deliver. Kahit papaano makapag-deliver po ako ng maayos sa mga customer ko at hindi na po ako maglalakad ng malayo,” she added.

Former Lalamove worker Jayvee S. Tabije from Pasay City finds new hope through the DOLE BikeCINATION Project to kick-start his own food vending business to support his wife and only child.

“Nagtatrabaho ako dati sa Lalamove. Hindi na ako nakapagtrabaho dahil mahina kaya lumapit kami sa PESO at DOLE para matulungan ang aming negosyo na Takoyaki. Nung nalaman ko na isa ako sa nabigyan ng ayuda, sobrang saya dahil makakatulong ito sa negosyo namin. Malaking tulong po itong binigay ng gobyerno lalo na ngayong pandemiya kaya ako ay nagpapasalamat,” he added.

Marikina City resident Oswaldo De Jesus was also grateful for the DOLE aid to help him bounce back as quickly as possible following his job loss when his employer were forced to close business due to pandemic.

“Marami pong salamat at ako po ay isa sa mga mapalad na nabiyayaan po ng bike para sa konting negosyo po…sana tuloy-tuloy po ang pagtulong ng DOLE sa mga kagaya naming nawalan ng trabaho, he said.

Apart from the BikeCINATION launch, DOLE-NCR also conducted the symbolic awarding of livelihood assistance to the Alyansa ng mga Nakakatanda sa Komunidad, Inc. (ANAK) for the Food Bank Project (Commissary) amounting to P970,000.00 and Development Action for Women Network, (DAWN) Inc. for the Kabuhayan Enhancement – Training cum Production on Sewing & Pattern Making for Women OFW returnees, amounting to P699,570.00.

END / Hershey Aquino with reports from Genevieve De Castro, Edelyn Galos, and Kristofferson Sta. Cruz