ZAMBOANGA CITY, October 28, 2021 – A total of 15 home-based vendors from various barangays in Zamboanga City were among the first beneficiaries of the BikeCINATION Project of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Regional Director Atty. Roy L. Buenafe with Assistant RD Imelda F. Gatinao personally handed the livelihood package yesterday at the DOLE 9 Regional Office Grounds in a simple turn-over ceremony.

“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,” Atty. Buenafe said.

The assistance came in the form of a bicycle unit, insulator bag, cellphone with 1,000 pesos load, long sleeve shirt, helmet, reflectorized vest, cellphone holder and bike gloves collectively amounting to PHP 25,000.00.

“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,” Atty. Buenafe added.

DOLE 9 earlier released a total amount of PHP 1.6 M to its Accredited Co-Partner, Ipil Market Vendors Association (IMAVEMCO), to implement the project and procure the equipment and tools for 65 beneficiaries region-wide.

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

Zandra Quemada, a resident of Barangay Sinubong, expressed her relief and gratitude for the livelihood assistance she received on that day. She says that she begins walking around the neighborhood by 6 in the morning and ends at 4 in the afternoon to sell.

“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 4 kids to school so I help him by selling homemade delicacies,” Zandra said.

Sanson Fontanella, one of the recipients, also voiced his thanks to DOLE:

“I would like to express my deepest thanks to the DOLE Regional Office thru Director Atty. Roy L. Buenafe, Sec Lab Bebot and all DOLE staff who made this livelihood opportunity for us possible. It is a great help for us especially in this pandemic.” ###