Ever since the government implemented social distancing measures all around the country, our transportation system has been operating at a reduced capacity which has been affecting millions of commuters, especially in the Metro Manila area. Motorcycle ride-sharing service providers like Angkas and Joyride have been forced to shut down its ride-sharing services and redirect its business into deliveries just to stay afloat during the onset lockdowns brought about by the COVID-19 global pandemic. The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, the government body tasked with the implementation of our quarantine measures, has imposed a ban on pillion riding as it violates social distancing measures imposed by the government.
Governors Arthur Yap of Bohol and Arthur Defensor Jr. of Iloilo have submitted their versions of motorcycle-mounted protective shields for motorcycle back-riders to the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and IATF in the hopes that it could serve as a solution to the country’s transportation problem that has affected millions of commuters. The designs submitted by Governors Yap and Defensor Jr. are composed of two poles measuring three to four feet in height that are attached to the chassis of the motorcycle with transparent shields to separate the driver and passenger with grab handles on the side.
Angkas and Joyride, two of the biggest motorcycle ride-sharing providers in the country have also presented their own versions of personal protective equipment for its rider-partners as they await the government’s decision to lift the ban on motorcycle pillion riding and give way to their resumption of operations.
Harry Roque, the spokesman for President Rodrigo Duterte announced that the IATF has approved the design of the protective shield submitted by Governor Yap and that the appropriate government agencies involved in it the implementation of health protocols in public transportation are now in the process of formulating the proper guidelines for its implementation. “Approved na yan in principle,” Roque said.
However, Malacañang didn’t explicitly state if they would be inclined to allow pillion riding for the commuting public in general or just among family members.