THOUSANDS of essential workers have been forced by the pandemic to become bike commuters.
And longtime actress — not to mention avid biker — Alice Dixson wants us all to help them out.
“Unlike riders in more affluent countries, the Filipino working class cannot afford to gear up for their bike rides,” she wrote on Instagram, “the bike itself already takes up a whole month's wages.”
So she’s raising awareness for The BT Commuter Safety Project, an initiative that hopes to get enough funds to buy 420 biker safety sets: a care package that consists of one helmet and one set of safety lights.
“Alice is a good friend who has been very supportive in so many ways,” said John Climaco, president of Bambu Technologies, in an interview with SPIN Life.
The 8-year-old biking company, which specializes in building bamboo frames for bicycles, is spearheading the project.
He continued: “She voluntarily used her platform to share the BT commuter safety project so we could reach out to more people.”
The people at Bambu Tech recognize that many of the bikers in the metro are first-timers in a city that’s not exactly known to be bike-friendly.
“Metro Manila has never really had an infrastructure or system to support bike commuting (dedicated bike lanes),” Climaco noted. “We are hoping to mitigate the risks by providing safety gear and training.”
Aside from essential workers, other beneficiaries for the program include displaced workers who are now turning to bike-based work — like delivery services — to earn income in the pandemic.
To that end, the company has partnered with Kalyetista, a Quezon City-based mobility advocacy group, and Balai Resorts to help out in the distribution of sets and the training of new bikers.
“So far we have procured 50 sets of safety gear and have distributed some of them this past week,” said Climaco. Through a fundraiser hosted on GoFundMe, the initiative hopes to reach a goal of $12,600, or around P619,100. According to the site, each safety set is worth approximately $30 — about P1,500 all in all for both bike helmet and lights.
You can view the fundraising site here.
Dixson was in the news recently for finally “revealing” the secret behind the “taong ahas” urban legend, a mythical snake person that lives in the Robinsons Galleria department store and said to be the twin of tycoon Robina Gokongwei.
The actress has also used the quarantine period to assemble her own bike.