DOTr clarifies: Use of thermal scanners not required for motorcycle taxi passengers

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 25) — Motorcycle taxi drivers are not required to use thermal scanners to check the temperature of their passengers, the Transport Department clarified on Wednesday.

"As to the mandatory use of scanners, hindi po siya imposed by the Technical Working Group (it is not imposed by the Technical Working Group)," said DOTr Assistant Secretary Steve Pastor.

Land Transportation Office Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante also emphasized this during the House committee hearing on transportation.

However, according to COVID-19 Task Force Deputy Chief Implementer Vince Dizon, Section 6.1.6 of the NTF Memorandum Circular on Motorcycle Taxis explicitly requires temperature checks for motorcycle taxi riders.

"Ang temperature check ay explicitly nire-require for motorcycle taxi driver. The same requirement is not for the passenger," said Dizon.

[Translation: Temperature check is explicitly required for motorcycle drivers. The same requirement is not for the passenger.]

Despite this, the testing czar noted that passengers still have to fill out a health declaration form before booking a ride, which includes their temperature.

Quezon City 1st District Representative Onyx Crisologo pointed out that not requiring thermal scanning can be a "gray area" since there is no fixed mechanism on how passengers will know their temperature detail to fill out in the health declaration form.

The TWG has granted motorcycle ride-hailing firms Angkas and JoyRide a provisional authority to operate starting Tuesday until December 9, pending submission of some requirements.

Galvante said in the hearing that the continuation of the provisional authority given to the operators will depend on their compliance to NTF guidelines.