The “Bike for Livelihood” program is doling out over half a thousand bikes nationwide, mostly to those who lost their jobs to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Metro Pacific Investments Foundation (MPIF), along with the MVP Group of Companies, recently launched the program in partnership with Gretchen Ho’s Donate A Bike, Save A Job (DABSAJ).
The initiative was also meant to celebrate First Pacific Co. Ltd.’s 40th Anniversary and Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan’s 75th birthday.
They are distributing 500 bicycles to different cities within Metro Manila, from Pasig, Manila, Quezon City, Malabon to Caloocan.
The bicycles come with pocket Wi-Fis to be used for alternative livelihood programs.
MPIF also focused its allocation to its Shore It Up! partner sites in Marinduque, Alaminos, Pangasinan, Del Carmen, Siargao, Batangas, and Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro.
Since these sites are primary tourist areas, most of their workforce lost their jobs due to the lockdown and the subsequent effect on tourist foot traffic.
A percentage of the bicycles will be given to government agencies, primarily to MMDA traffic enforcers, who protect bike lanes and to DILG-PNP’s physical contact tracers, for safe and individualized transport to carry out their duties.
Some bicycles will also go to a specialized Cignal TV program focused on supporting alternative livelihood and small-scale businesses.
Along with the bikes, 100 Smart Retailer Kits and 100 Smart Pocket Wi-Fis will be distributed to beneficiaries as tools.
“The best solution to poverty is livelihood,” Pangilinan underscored.
“If you could provide [people] with a means of making themselves a livelihood, whether by delivering food or medicine or water, I think that’s something we should support,” he explained.
“I do hope they would use it for their families, so they can uplift their way of living. At the end of day, that’s what we’re all here for. Social orientation is embedded in our Group’s DNA.”
“We want to refocus our corporate social responsibility towards more sustainable initiatives, starting with the development of alternative livelihood programs that provide long-term support to our partner communities,” added MPIC President & CEO Jose Ma. K. Lim.
“Through this Bike for Livelihood project, we empower individuals whose livelihoods were jeopardized by the pandemic, to move forward to provide for themselves and their families.”
“You help those in need of assistance on mobility, so they may be able to go to their workplaces in the absence of reliable public transport. Biking also promotes health and wellness, while providing livelihood,” says Smart Communications President and CEO and PLDT Chief Revenue Officer Alfredo S. Panlilio.
“A lot of delivery riders in Makati are riding a bike so maybe you can also open up your own business as a delivery rider so there’s a good perspective.”
In line with the partnership, the MVP Group has also pledged to promote a bike-friendly culture across the group.
The group plans to improve its existing facilities such as bicycle parking and shower areas for employees, as well as creating a bike loan program.
Maynilad pledged to support the project through the installation of drinking fountains in various local government units.
Bikers will have access to these drinking fountains as they will be strategically located along bikers’ routes.
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