(July 09, 2020) – Back-riding in motorcycles will be allowed starting Friday, but will only be limited for couples, a government official said on Thursday.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año confirmed the new back-riding scheme almost a month after the Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) approved it “in principle”.
“Simula bukas, July 10, ay papayagan na natin ang back-riding ngunit sa couples lang muna. Alam naman natin ang sitwasyon ngayon, tumataas ang bilang ng mga positive cases. At least ang couple ay nakatira sa iisang bahay lang ‘yan,” Año said in a statement.
The motorcycles though must be installed with protective shields between the riders in compliance with the guidelines IATF.
LOOK | Improved design of the motorcycle passenger barrier made by Bohol Gov. Arthur Yap. This has heated or curved edges to make it more aerodynamic. Gov. Yap says they can modify & improve design as needed. @News5AKSYON pic.twitter.com/ihHrPeqbii
— Lyn Olavario (@frauey) July 9, 2020
The National Task Force adopted the prototype submitted by Bohol governor Arthur Yap, similar to those designed by motorcycle riding service companies Angkas and JoyRide.
The protective shield featured handle bars for the passenger to minimize contact with the rider. Both are still required to wear face masks and helmets.
“May handle sa side nung barrier at lalagpas sa ulo niya ‘yung barrier para sigurado na walang laway na tatalsik and at the same time kailangang magsuot ng mask at naka-helmet ‘yung rider at passenger,” he explained.
Authorities recommended couples to bring valid IDs and other documents as proof that they live together in one house.
“Sa ID ay dapat magkapareho ng apelyido at kapag naman common-law husband and wife ay kailangang the same address sa ID. There are so many ways to prove naman that indeed they are a couple,” Año said.
Several local government officials appealed to the IATF to allow motorcycle riding for relatives during the quarantine period, since public transportation was severely limited at that time.
But the back-riding rule did not apply to motorcycle-hailing apps.
“‘Di po kasama dito ang Angkas dahil nawala na ang prangkisa ng Angkas,” said presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in a virtual briefing on Thursday.
Other transport network vehicle services such as Grab have already resumed operations. (Katrina Elaine Alba/AGD)
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