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Motorcycle shields enjoy brisk sales despite safety issues

Sales of motorcycle shields for "back-riding" couples have spiked despite safety issues raised by motorcycle advocates.

According to Ivan Mayrina’s report on “24 Oras,” seller John Harvey Castillejos said that since Monday morning he has already sold 14 pieces.

The motorcycle shield, or barrier, is supposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from rider to passenger, even though the only ones allowed to pair up on motorcycles are individuals who already live together.

A couple, meanwhile, were shopping around for a shield despite their misgivings.

“Nag-aalangan po ako kaso wala po akong magawa eh ‘yon po ang batas ng gobyerno ngayon eh,” said Edilberto Otico. His wife Mary Ann noted that riders already wear motorcycle helmets, which can serve as shields.

“May shield naman ‘yong helmet eh. Puwedeng mag-helmet na lang para ‘di masyadong mahirap sa mga nagmo-motor ‘yong barrier kaso siyempre ‘yon ang gusto nila [gobyerno],” she said.

Joint Task Force COVID Shield commander Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar earlier said the deadline for installing a barrier on motorcycles for back-riding has been extended until July 26.

According to the JTF COVID Shield, the National Task Force Against COVID-19 has approved its recommendation to extend the July 19 deadline to allow motorists to have more time to install the barrier.

Two barrier designs have been approved: the Bohol prototype and the Angkas design.

Earlier, motorcycle safety advocates warned that the protective shields rmight cause accidents.

According to Motorcycle Philippines Federation official Atoy Sta. Cruz, metal barriers could cause more harm in an accident.

However, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año defended the barriers, saying that safety really depends on the motorcycle riders. — Ma. Angelica Garcia/BM, GMA News