By:  Melvin Gascon 

A Quezon City lawmaker on Tuesday urged the government to allow motorcycle taxis to operate provided these come with a plastic shield between the driver and passenger.In a statement, Rep. Precious Hipolito-Castelo called on the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to follow the lead of Indonesia which had permitted motorbike taxis to go back on the road. Their drivers, however, use a plastic shield or separator which they strap on, backpack-style, to maintain social distancing between them and their passenger.

“If they can do it, we can do it to help millions of our people who still have no jobs and income due to quarantine restrictions,” Castelo said.

Aside from the shield, other health protocols should be observed like requiring the driver to wear Department of Health-accepted protective personal equipment and for passengers to bring their own helmets and face masks, she added.Payment shall be contact-free but only through various online platforms. Both driver and passenger will also be required to use the government-endorsed StaySafe app to determine probability of contamination.“Allowing motorcycle taxis to run again will ease congestion in public transportation,” Castelo said, adding that this mode of travel was cheaper, faster and more convenient, especially for workers.