Officials and Politicians React Strongly against IATF’s Current Backriding Policy

Date posted on July 13, 2020
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The IATF has allowed motorcycle backriding for couples last July 10 provided that both are wearing face masks and there is a barrier or protective shield between them. At the same time, there should be proof that they are a couple living in one household.

This was met by complaints in the motorcycle community as majority argues that the barrier is dangerous and helmets and face masks are already protection for the rider and backrider.

The Filipinos, creative as we are, used different materials such as wood, plastic cover etc. to be used as protective shield to be able to backride. Motorcycle backriding is a big help as it spares us from the hassle in the limited public transportation we have right now.

A number of politicians have voiced out their concerns and disagreement to the motorcycle backriding policy of the IATF. Former Senator JV Ejercito, Ang Probinsyano Party-list Representative Ronnie Ong, Senator Ralph Recto, Senator Bong Revilla, Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla and Ilocos Sur Governor Ryan Singson are among those who don’t agree that there should be a barrier for couples riding motorcycles. They are one with majority of motorcycle users who believe that proper riding gears, helmets and face masks can be used to help prevent transmission of the virus. They also emphasized the fact that these couples are living in one household. Add to this the danger the barrier imposes to motorcycle riding.

Here are the sentiments of the said politicians these past days:

Cavite Governon Jonvic Remulla

“Wasn’t it based on the point that couples who live in one house makes transmission less possible? Sana sapat na ang naka-jacket, face mask, helmet at couples pass mula sa barangay.” – Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla

Ang Probinsyano Party-list Representative Ronnie Ong

“I just hope that the task force will just forgo its shield requirement. I don’t see any reason why a divider or a shield for couples who eat, sleep and even take a bath together would be required to comply with such. It just exposes them to more danger in the streets because of that shield.” – Ang Probinsyano Party-list Representative Ronnie Ong

Senator Ralph Recto

“Please don’t get me wrong, I do commend well meaning initiatives to get breadwinners who ride pillion on motorbikes on the road again, but such should get the green light from science. Before we flag this off, can we please subject it to test runs and workshop review by experts? Or can we just ask health experts if a couple who sleep together at night without masks can safely ride a motorcycle together with masks and helmets on?” – Senator Ralph Recto

Ilocos Sur Governor Ryan Singson

“Personally, I am not comfortable with the divider. I am a rider too and I think it is dangerous. If the way that it is mounted is not so good, it might collapse and there is a possibility that the passenger will fall. But let us wait for the final advise of IATF.” – Ilocos Sur Governor Ryan Singson

Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.

“After all, both riders live in the same house where they interact in the same space without masks, share utensils, and at the end of day, sleep on the same bed. The installation of a barrier on motorcycles for the purpose of protecting them from each other seems unnecessary.” – Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.

Senator JV Ejercito

“For couples, the barrier is unnecessary. Kasi magkasama na yan sa bahay at magka siping pa. Also for public transport use again like Angkas or Joyride if they will be allowed, the use of full face helmets, mask, gloves will already suffice. Because the helmet already functions as a face shield. Use of protective shields might be dangerous and compromise safety of both rider and passenger. Delikado po at baka bumara sa gulong kung sakaling matanggal. Delikado sa rider at pasahero.” – former Senator JV Ejercito

Meanwhile, Governor Arthur Yap announced that barriers will not be mandatory for motorcycle backriding couples in Bohol. Cotabato City Mayor Frances Cynthia-Guiani-Sayadi also approved the recommendation of the Cotabato City Inter Agency Task Force to not implement the installation of Protective or Physical Barrier for motorcycle backriding.

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