By Katrina Hallare

Motorcycle ride-hailing service app Angkas on Friday proposed the use of plastic shields between its riders and passengers in a bid to convince authorities to allow the resumption of motorcycle taxi operations.
In an online press briefing, Angkas chief transport advocate George Royeca said that aside from the plastic dividers, they are also proposing to make motorcycle taxis “much like a shuttle service with pre-registered passengers for select companies.”
All these offers and more were submitted by Angkas to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID), he added.
According to Royeca, allowing Angkas to be a shuttle service for select companies will ensure contact tracing for those who might later test positive for SARS-COV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

“To date, Angkas has a base of four million users that can help add to the government’s contact tracing database,” the Angkas official said.
Also, Royeca said Angkas proposed that passengers must provide their own helmet and face mask to limit contact between the rider and passenger.
Royeca further said all of their bikers will be subjected to COVID-19 testing.
“We hope to work with the IATF and the Department of Health (DOH) to monitor the results and eventually recommend guidelines that can be adopted by both private motorcycles and motorcycle taxis alike. If the design is approved by the government and the medical experts, we commit to make the final shield design mold for free to the public,” Royeca expressed.
Operations of motorcycle taxis have been suspended since mid-March following the imposition of the Luzon-wide quarantine amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Previously, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque revealed that the government is assessing whether or not motorcycle taxis may resume operations as quarantine measures were gradually relaxed this month.
To minimize the impact of the public health crisis to its riders, Angkas shifted to delivery services while community quarantines are in place.

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