Around 900 informal sector workers who were displaced due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic are set to benefit from the initial rollout of the “free bicycles project” of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

“We will be giving free bicycles, which is called ‘free bisikleta (bicycles) project’ since many of us are patronizing online delivery services. This is the reason for the concept of the project,” Ma. Karen Trayvilla, director of the DOLE Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC), said in a Laging Handa briefing on October 23, 2020.

Under the program, beneficiaries would be tapped as riders providing food and non-food delivery services.

Trayvilla said they will start giving free bicycles in four cities in Metro Manila and in four regional offices.

“Starting Monday (October 26) to Wednesday (October 28), we will be awarding, it will be held at the DOLE. We will also be 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), 4-A (Calabarzon), and 5 (Bicol) will also join. So we will be giving a total of 900 free bikes for the initial implementation of this project,” she said.

She added that they are also looking to include Cebu and other regional offices in the country.

“Perhaps by next month or December, we will also give free bicycles in Cebu and to our other regional offices,” Trayvilla said. (PNA)

Aside from the bicycles, recipients would also receive cellphone and e-loading wallet. Also included in the package are an isolation bag, helmet, reflectorized vest, and bicycle rack.

Applicants are advised to go to the DOLE field office or Public Employment Service Office (PESO) to avail of the program.

Trayvilla said applicants would undergo profiling and those who would qualify would be given a “social preparation training”.

“In this training, the MMDA (Metropolitan Manila Development Authority) would provide training on traffic regulations. On the business side, the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board would provide training and productivity and financial literacy. In terms of occupational health and safety standards, we have tapped the DOLE’s Occupational Health and Safety Center,” she added.

Trayvilla said they have also enrolled the project’s beneficiaries into a “group personal accident insurance” program of the Government Service Insurance System. (Ferdinand Patinio, PNA)

Top photo: PNA