SENATOR Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has called on the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) and the National Task Force (NTF) for COVID-19 to consider a thorough and scientific study of various proposals for motorcycle backriding in adherence to necessary health and safety protocols that need to be imposed to protect motorcycle drivers, backriders, and the general public.
While Go welcomed the government’s decision to allow motorcycle backriding for certain cases, he also urged concerned agencies to consult riders and motorcycle safety experts so they could also assist in determining the measures that should be required by government for backriding, such as the installation of makeshift shields on motorcycle units.
"I urge the IATF and NTF COVID-19 to thoroughly and scientifically study various designs for backriding. Huwag madaliin dahil kailangang pag-aralan ng mabuti ito, lalo na dahil buhay ng mga kababayan natin ang nakataya dito,” Go said.
“Bigyan natin ang mga Pilipino ng mabisang solusyon at hindi dagdag na konsumisyon. Siguraduhin nating ligtas ang paggamit ng shields o anumang installation sa motorsiklo para maiwasan ang aksidente at hawaan ng sakit,” he added.
Earlier, Go expressed his support for the IATF’s decision to allow backriding on motorcycles specifically for married couples, especially since public transportation is still limited in many areas in the country.
“Malaking tulong ang pagpayag ng IATF sa backriding on certain cases tulad ng sa mga mag-asawa dahil limitado pa rin ang transportation options sa panahon ngayon. Pero kailangang suriing mabuti ang safety measures na gagawin para masigurong ang backriding ay mapapahintulutan sa ligtas na paraan,” the Senator added.
Guidelines on backriding for couples were submitted by IATF’s technical working group for finalization. The same have also been submitted to the NTF which is also expected to come up with its own recommendations.
“Pakinggan rin po natin ang mga concerns ng mga riders dahil sila ang apektado at makakabenepisyo rito. Bilang isang nagmomotorsiklo din, naiintindihan ko ang hinaing ng mga riders. Importante na siguraduhing ligtas sa kalsada ang anumang safety measure na ire-require ng gobyerno sa backriding,” Go urged.
Go, also the chair of the Senate Committee on Health, emphasized that approved designs that will be required in backriding must be based on scientific studies to ensure that these devices or installations will prevent the spread of COVID-19 and, at the same time, ensure the safety of riders and the general public.
“Maliban sa pagsunod sa mga batas trapiko, kailangang masiguro din na ang sinasakyang motor sa backriding ay safe at road-worthy. Kaya kailangan ang disensyo ng ire-require na safety measures ay ligtas, hindi magiging sanhi ng aksidente at mapipigilan talaga ang pagkalat ng sakit,” the Senator said.
According to Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, the government is still open to more proposals, particularly on designs of barriers to be required between motorcycle drivers and backriders.
Meanwhile, Go reminded the general public not to be complacent since the fight against the spread of COVID-19 is still ongoing. He advised Filipinos to limit themselves to essential movements only and continue to strictly comply with health and safety protocols being implemented.
“Kahit na may iilang transportation options na pinayagan na, kung hindi naman kailangan magbyahe, mas maiging manatili nalang po sa bahay. Sumunod tayo sa mga health protocols, tulad ng social distancing at pagsuot ng face masks lalo na kung kailangan ninyong lumabas,” Go urged the public.