At least 200 beneficiaries of the Quezon City government’s bicycle distribution program will soon earn a living as freelance delivery riders of Foodpanda Philippines following an agreement signed by the city government and the leading food delivery online platform in the country.

The signing of the agreement marked launch in Quezon City of ‘pandaBIZikleta’, a project of Foodpanda Philippines to help those who lost their jobs during the pandemic.

Joining Mayor Joy Belmonte in signing the agreement were Foodpanda Philippines finance director Leopoldo de Castro Jr. and Judith Tubil, the head of People & Culture division.

Earlier, Mayor Joy Belmonte and Daniel Marogy, Foodpanda managing director, agreed to join hands with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to ease the economic hardship on workers displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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,” said Belmonte.

Through the “pandaBIZikleta” project, Belmonte said, the unemployed would “gain the financial stability needed to get through these difficult times.”

She also cited the assistance of DOLE in providing free bicycles through its BIKECINNATION program. The 200 displaced workers who are to receive free bicycles would get an opportunity to earn a living as freelance delivery riders of Foodpanda PH.

Marogy said the project is part of Foodpanda’s corporate social advocacy and sustainability program. “We are honored to be in a position to help so many displaced workers in partnership with the Quezon City government and DOLE,” he said.

“As a company, we believe that what is good for the community, is also good for business,” Marogy said. “We warmly welcome our beneficiaries from Quezon City into the Foodpanda Philippines family,” he added.

The memorandum of agreement between Foodpanda and the Quezon City government was signed at the Office of the Mayor on World Sustainability Day. This is celebrated worldwide on the 4th Wednesday of October to signify the global commitment to the environment, which is one of the reasons behind Foodpanda’s deployment of bicycle riders.

“We are advocating the use of bicycles because this helps promote clean air and good health, which are vital factors in making communities more sustainable,” said Marogy.

“While helping our displaced workers, we are also protecting the environment,” Belmonte said.

Beneficiaries to be referred by the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) to Foodpanda Philippines must be at least 18 years old with NBI or police clearance and a Quezon City resident who lost employment during the pandemic.

Belmonte said the beneficiaries would serve as independent contractors for at least three months.

“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. He noted that the Quezon City government also served as a pilot partner of Foodpanda’s pandaTODA project which enabled tricycle drivers displaced by COVID-19 to earn a living as foodpanda’s freelance delivery riders.

“We are proud to be working closely with Mayor Joy Belmonte in her efforts to extend assistance to unemployed workers in Quezon City,” de Castro, Jr. said.