By Noreen Jazul
A cycling enthusiast has been giving free helmets to Filipinos who bike to work around the metro.
Two weeks ago, Ryan Azarcon started his “The 87 Helmets Project,” upon seeing in the news that “most bike commuters were not wearing a helmet.”
“NCR [National Capital Region] was then transitioning from MECQ [Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine] to GCQ [General Community Quarantine]. At that time, buses and jeepneys were not yet allowed to operate, and we saw a lot of our kababayans scramble to get a bike so that they can get to their work,” Azarcon told CNN Philippines in an interview Thursday.
Hours after posting about his initiative in his Facebook page and Viber groups, Azarcon received donations enough to buy 30 helmets.
“I was going to be happy with that 30 helmets and then somebody suggested why not go for 87? Since we were from the Batch of 1987 of Pisay (Philippine Science High School),” Azarcon said.
“I was really skeptical with that number because…I was going to be happy with 30 but then in less than a day, I had enough funds to buy my 87 helmets, and it just grew from there,” he added.
Azarcon said he distributes the helmets with the help of his batchmates from Pisay, organizations such as the Bikes for the Philippines and Bikers United Marshals, and several volunteers.
On his Facebook page, Azarcon shares his encounters with the recipients of the helmets. Among those given free helmets were medical frontliners.
Those who wish to help provide helmets for more commuters can reach Azarcon on Facebook.