By: Leila B. Salaverria
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque made it clear on Monday that only privately owned motorcycles would be allowed to have back riders while the ban on motorcycle taxis would remain.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases earlier approved tandem riding on motorcycles in principle. However, it was still trying to determine the safest and most effective manner to maintain physical distancing to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
For now, ride-sharing services on motorcycles could not be allowed even if the regulations for back riders come out as the dry run for motorcycle taxis has ended, Roque said.
For them to become operational again, they would first have to get a franchise, he added.
House transportation committee chair Rep. Edgar Sarmiento, however, was planning to propose that motorcycle taxis like Angkas and JoyRide be allowed back on the streets provisionally while the bill legalizing their operations is pending in Congress
Sarmiento said he would bring up the matter with the Department of Transportation.
Roque also said that when private motorcycle drivers would finally be allowed to have back riders, they would need to install a contraption to enforce physical distancing like a shield-like device worn backpack-style.
The full report in today’s edition of the Philippine Daily Inquirer