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Displaced workers to get livelihood bikes

TO ease unemployment, the Department of Labor and Employment will be giving out free bicycles for livelihood to pandemic displaced workers both in the formal and informal sectors.

Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said the Freebis or Free Bisikleta project, set for launch on Monday in various regions of Luzon including Metro Manila, is under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program which aims to provide livelihood opportunities to workers hardest hit by the COVID pandemic, including returning OFWs.

Bello said the simultaneous launch will be participated in by the local governments of Manila, Muntinlupa, Mandaluyong and Pasig in NCR, and those of Isabela and Cagayan in Region II; Pampanga in Region III; Bacoor, Cavite in Region IV-A; and Legazpi City, Albay in Region V.

He added that for the National Capital Region, the beneficiaries will be given bicycle units that they will use as delivery riders of partner companies Grab and Lalamove; while group beneficiaries will be assisted in their livelihood undertaking that will cater to the needs of bicycle commuters.

The bicycle units in NCR will come complete with helmet, raincoat, water bottle, thermal bag and Android mobile phone with a P5,000 load in electronic payment application.

Underscoring the importance of strengthening partnership with the private sector, Bello said that expanding opportunities for displaced workers is possible by taking advantage of the “bright spots” offered by thriving industries.

More than 320 beneficiaries will be receiving their bicycles in a simultaneous launching in Metro, including those at the DOLE central office in Manila.

The signing of a memorandum of agreement on the Freebis Project Convergence with Grab and Lalamove will be among the highlights of the launch program.

Bello expressed hope that other private companies as well as local government units will also partner with the labor department in the undertaking.