200 QC workers displaced by pandemic to train as food delivery riders

Published October 27, 2021, 5:23 PM

by Aaron Recuenco 

A total of 200 workers displaced by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic will undergo training to become freelance food delivery riders for foodpanda Philippines, one of the popular food delivery online platforms in the country.

The training program was formalized through the signing of agreement between the Quezon City government and foodpanda Philippines on Wednesday, Oct. 27, and was backed by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) by donating bicycles that would be used by the displaced workers through its BIKECINATION project.

“We are really thankful to our local governments because they have been very active in extending assistance to workers displaced by the pandemic,” DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said.

“We commend our partners—the Quezon City government and foodpanda Philippines—for embarking on this noble initiative,” he added.

The bicycles donated by DOLE were key to the ‘pandaBIZikleta’ project of foodpanda in partnership with the Quezon City government which enables displaced workers to earn as food delivery riders.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte and foodpanda Philippines managing director Daniel Marogy have agreed to work with the DOLE to ease the economic hardship of workers displaced by the pandemic.

“We are helping our displaced workers and at the same time protecting our environment through this joint partnership,” Belmonte said of the agreement with foodpanda.

“We continue to innovate and look for solutions to ease the suffering of hardworking employees who, through no fault of their own, have lost their jobs due to this pandemic,” she added.

For his part, Marogy said the pandaBIZikleta project is part of the company’s corporate social advocacy and sustainability programs.

Marogy said the signing of the agreement between foodpanda and the city government coincided with World Sustainability Day which signifies the importance of caring for the environment.

“We advocate the use of bicycles as part of foodpanda Philippines’ Sustainability Program because it helps promote clean air and good health which are vital factors in making communities more sustainable,” Marogy said in a statement.

To qualify for the program, displaced workers should be referred by the Public Employment Service Office, be at least 18 years old with NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) or police clearance, and residents of Quezon City.

Belmonte said the beneficiaries would be admitted as independent contractors for foodpanda for at least three months.

Under the agreement, foodpanda Philippines would schedule the recruitment and entry of the 200 beneficiaries for orientation and training. The company would provide discounted biker kits and extend the same benefits it gives to its other freelance delivery service providers.

The Quezon City government, through its PESO, will help project beneficiaries with online registration as independent contract bikers and in securing work permits and clearances.

“We are excited to witness the growth and expansion of the pandaBIZikleta project throughout the country,” said Marogy.

Leopoldo de Castro Jr., finance director of foodpanda Philippines represented Marogy during the signing ceremony held this afternoon (Wednesday, October 27) at the Office of the Mayor in Quezon City Hall. Also present during the agreement signing with Belmonte was Judith Tubil, head of foodpanda Philippines’s People & Culture division.