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Motorcycle back-riding eyed only for private use â DOTr
DOTr Assistant Secretary Goddes Libiran clarified that only the return of back-riding for private motorcycle use is currently under consideration, subject to the release of health safety guidelines by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).
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Motorcycle back-riding eyed only for private use — DOTr

Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - June 22, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The resumption of motorcycle taxi services such as Angkas is not yet on the horizon, as only motorcycle back-riding for private use is being considered, according to the Department of Transportation.

DOTr Assistant Secretary Goddes Libiran clarified that only the return of back-riding for private motorcycle use is currently under consideration, subject to the release of health safety guidelines by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

“What the IATF considers allowing is the private use of motorcycles with back-riding, subject to health and safety protocols that are now being formulated by concerned agencies such as the DOTr, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Health, Metro Manila Development Authority and Department of Trade and Industry,” Libiran said yesterday.

“These agencies will determine the safest and most effective way of reducing the risk of transmission in motorcycle back-riding,” she said.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque has said back-riding has been approved “in principle... upon the approval of the requirements to be set by the Technical Working Group.”

Libiran said the resumption of motorcycle taxis, such as Angkas and JoyRide, is a different matter.

“As mentioned in our previous statement, the pilot study (trial period) of motorcycle taxis had already expired in April. We submitted our recommendations to the House of Representatives, and we are awaiting their action if they will be allowed to continue operations,” Libiran said.

“So technically, there is nothing to resume in the meantime, unless a new law is passed allowing them to operate as a legal public transport mode,” she said.

Motorcycles or two-wheel vehicles for public transport are not allowed to operate in the country.

A trial run commenced in June last year that temporarily allowed motorcycle taxis to operate legally for the government to gather data to determine the viability of motorcycles as a safe mode of public transportation.

Angkas and JoyRide last Friday bared their respective proposed plastic shields between the passenger and the driver aimed at mitigating the transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) when riding on motorcycle taxis.

Angkas, for its part, submitted a set of proposed health and safety protocols to the IATF in the hopes of helping the government initiate further studies to enhance the safety of motorcycle taxi services.

As part of the proposal, passengers will have to use their own helmets and carry their own face masks to limit contact.

Meanwhile, Sen. Bong Go urged the IATF yesterday to thoroughly study the guidelines on the proposal to permit motorcycle back-riders to ensure the safety and health of the riders.

“It would be a great help to our countrymen if back-riding in motorcycles is allowed as public transportation remains limited. However, let’s not rush it. We have to make sure that this is done the safe way,” the senator said in a statement.

Go also appealed to commuters to comply with health safety guidelines which must go through “a thorough scientific study, considering both health and transportation safety aspects” that would lead to measures and regulations to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Paolo Romero

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