Some married couples and riders on Sunday opposed the government’s requirement for a barrier between motorcycle drivers and back-riders to prevent coronavirus transmission.
In JP Soriano’s report on “24 Oras Weekend,” motorcyclist "Joel" pointed out that only married couples or live-in partners are allowed to back ride, making the barrier unnecessary.
“Ang inaano ko lang, misis mo naman kasama mo. Dapat ‘di na ‘to kailangan e. Talagang mafi-feel mo ‘yung hangin na ano kaya dapat medyo alalay lang talaga,” he said.
Another rider added that masks and helmets are enough protection against the virus.
“Dapat tanggalin niyo na lang po (barrier). Tama lang po ‘yung mask saka helmet saka requirement na mag-asawa po,” he said.
A motoring expert and the Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers earlier rejected the government’s approved barrier designs, warning against the risks they pose to riders’ safety.
Despite this, the inter-agency COVID-19 task force maintained that a barrier is needed for social distancing but said it is open to other design suggestions.
“Kailangan po ang gamitin natin ay acrylic plastic or something similar,” Interior Spokesman Jonathan Malaya said.
“Kung hindi sila sang-ayon sa mga naunang disenyo, mangyari lamang na mag-sumite sila ng mga disenyo nila para mapag-aralan natin,” he added.
The Joint Task Force COVID Shield earlier extended the deadline for installing barriers to July 31.
“Pagkatapos ng July 31, magiging mas mahigpit na po ang ating paninita,” Malaya said.
For the Makabayang Koalisyon ng Mamamayan, however, the requirement for barriers should be scrapped altogether.
“Siguro dapat hindi na lang extension. Dapat alisin na ‘yung gano’ng patakaran… kasi mas delikado e. Ang dami nang naaksidente dahil ‘yung barrier ay humaharang sa hangin at nagiging dahilan ng pagkakaroon ng disgrasya,” former senatorial candidate Leody De Guzman said. — Julia Mari Ornedo/DVM, GMA News