FIFTEEN home-based vendors from various villages in Zamboanga City were among the first beneficiaries of the BikeCINATION project of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

They were among the 65 beneficiaries in the region identified by DOLE to receive last week's livelihood package through the BikeCINATION.

“DOLE’s Bikecination project aims to provide an alternative source of income for informal sector workers or their next of kin under the A4 category who have received their Covid-19 vaccine. The project aims to incentivize and encourage informal sector workers to get vaccinated to help in the country’s fight against this pandemic,” Buenafe said in a statement.

Buenafe said the assistance came in the form of a bicycle unit, insulator bag, cellular phone with P1,000 load, long sleeve shirt, helmet, reflectorized vest, cellphone holder and bike gloves collectively amounting to P25,000.

“We are giving them these tools to help them in selling fresh produce or processed foods such as kakanin and other items. We saw the rise of food delivery services and so we want to give them the same opportunity within their respective communities,” he added.

Zandra Quemada of Sinubong village, Zamboanga City, expressed her relief and gratitude for the livelihood assistance she received from DOLE.

Quemada said she begins walking around the neighborhood by 6 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. to sell homemade delicacies.

“Thank you so much DOLE for the bicycles and the tools. It won’t be difficult for me to sell my homemade delicacies anymore. My husband’s income is not enough to send four kids to school so I help him by selling homemade delicacies,” Quemada said.

Sanson Fontanella, one of the recipients, also expressed his gratitude to Buenafe and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, who give us livelihood opportunities.

“It is a great help for us especially in this (time of) pandemic,” he said.

The DOLE regional officer earlier released P1.6 million to its accredited co-partner, Ipil Market Vendors Association (Imavemco), to implement the project and procure the equipment and tools for 65 beneficiaries in the region.

“We will be conducting distributions of bicycle units in other provinces in the coming weeks,” Buenafe said.

Buenafe together with DOLE Assistant Regional Director Imelda Gatinao personally handed the livelihood package to the beneficiaries in a simple ceremony held at the DOLE regional office grounds. (SunStar Zamboanga)

Source: SunStar (