SMC introduces bicycle program for employees, RSA calls on motorists to safely share road with cyclists

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By Alithea De Jesus

San Miguel Corporation (SMC) has rolled out a program to provide employees and its extended workforce with bicycles as an alternative mode of transportation as part of its continuing efforts to ensure safety at workplaces, and provide its workforce convenience amidst travel restrictions across much of the country.

The program enables them to avail of bicycles and safety helmets at almost giveaway prices. A bicycle ranges from P2,000 to P3,000 for high-quality, feature-laden bicycles—which they can then pay for with no interest for 12 months. The bulk of the cost for the bicycles is shouldered by SMC.

SMC president Ramon S. Ang said the program was prompted by a surge in demand for bicycles among employees as the company continues to safely bring its employees back to work to continue essential operations.

“While we continuously do mass RT-PCR testing of all 70,000 employees and extended workforce to ensure safety in our facilities and offices nationwide, and even as we observe strict safety and health protocols, we understand there’s also a need to provide convenience and additional safety to many of our workers, when they go to work,” said SMC president and chief operating Ramon S. Ang.

“Right now, our transportation system is still limited, and we see that more of our employees are biking to work. So we thought to provide them new bicycles. We bought an initial 1,500 units for our facilities in different locations. Almost as soon as we offered them, all were taken. We are now waiting for more units to make available to more employees in more areas,” Ang added.

Made available to employees are commuter bicycles, complete with basket, light, drum brakes, for P2,080 and a compact, hardtail mountain bike with front suspension, front and rear disc brakes, and gearing, for P3,000.

The company said it has also launched a special COVID-19 transportation loan for employees, to further expand their options for alternative modes of transportation.

“With more and more cities putting up bike lanes, and with even our major thoroughfares devoting space for cyclists, biking to work is now a more viable option for many Filipinos. It lessens your risk for exposure to COVID-19 because you are socially-distanced and outdoors; it promotes better cardio health, and you don’t need to pay for fares. Just make sure to observe all safety measures and remain alert and careful at all times,” Ang said.

“For motorists, let us all observe the proper distance from cyclists. Do not treat them as obstacles on the road. We share the road with them, they are people like you, just trying to get to their destination. Give way to them, because anyway you are inside a vehicle. Their safety comes first,” he added.

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