Wearing of PPE suggested as task force studies guidelines for motorcycle backriding

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(FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 22)— Some transport officials and road safety advocates are pushing for stricter health protocols for motorcycle riders— should the government officially green-light the move to allow backriding on the vehicle.

Bert Suansing, senior consultant of the Transportation Department, said there have been few suggestions to help avoid possible COVID-19 transmission between motorcycle riders— including letting passengers wear and use personal protective equipment (PPE).

Merong suggestion na maglagay ng plastic shield between the driver of the motorcycle and the passenger. It is now being evaluated by the IATF (COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force),” Suansing told CNN Philippines’ The Source.

[Translation: There was a suggestion to place a plastic shield between the driver of the motorcycle and the passenger. It is now being evaluated by the IATF.]

Suansing is also suggesting for tandem riders to wear PPEs along with full-face helmets.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque first announced over the weekend that the task force is already studying the possibility of allowing backriders in motorcycles, subject to health requirements and protocols.

READ: Roque: Backriding on motorcycles allowed 'in principle'

However, Roque stressed that the proposed move will only cover private vehicles— as motorcycle taxis are still not allowed to ply the roads. He said that ride-hailing companies like Angkas do not have franchises to operate— as the pilot program for the motorcycle taxi services wrapped up in April.

Talagang private backriding lang po ang kino-konsidera, pero hindi po tayo babalik sa nakaugalian natin,” Roque said in his virtual media briefing later in the day. “Kinakailangan po merong mga safety at saka hygienic contraptions at innovations na gagamitin.

[Translation: We’re only considering private backriding, but we will not go back to our old habits. We need to use safety and hygienic contraptions and innovations.]

Suansing, for his part, said motor taxi providers would have to wait for a measure from Congress before they can once again legalize operations.