Barriers to be required for motorcycle taxis
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the measure would be implemented, considering that the rider does not know his passengers personally and more than one commuter would be riding a motorcycle taxi for a day.
Boy Santos, file
Barriers to be required for motorcycle taxis
Neil Jayson Servallos (The Philippine Star) - October 19, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Motorcycle taxis will be required to install barriers to protect riders and commuters from COVID-19 transmission once they are allowed to resume operations, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) announced yesterday.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the measure would be implemented, considering that the rider does not know his passengers personally and more than one commuter would be riding a motorcycle taxi for a day.

“If it’s a motorcycle taxi, automatically a barrier is a requirement because the rider and the passenger don’t know each other,” Año said in a radio interview.

He said passengers would be encouraged to use their own helmet.

Motorcycle taxi companies need to make sure that their vehicles are disinfected and safe, according to Año.

Año said these precautionary measures against COVID-19 would be implemented as the Department of Transportation may allow motorcycle taxis to transport passengers.

“Despite the one-seat apart rule being enforced, at least 400,000 commuters could be stranded due to limited public transport,” he said. “They would not be able to go to work.”

Palace: No need for emergency powers

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said there is no need for President Duterte to use emergency powers to allow motorcycle taxis to operate during the pandemic.

Roque said the House committee on transportation has issued a resolution on the resumption of a pilot study on the public transportation mode.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases expressed support for the resumption of the study that would allow ride-hailing services such as Angkas and Joyride to operate as the government reopened the economy.

A pilot study that started last year expired in April, making motorcycle taxis illegal.

The study, which sought to determine whether motorcycle taxis are safe, may resume pending the passage of a law that will legalize their operations.

The government’s technical working group studying the legality of motorcycles-for-hire completed the pilot run of motorcycle taxis last March.

Bills filed in the Senate sought to amend Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, which provides that only four-wheeled vehicles can register with the Land Transportation Office to transport passengers and goods. –Alexis Romero

COVID-19 DILG
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