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Senator questions use of shields in pillion riding

"What's the use of a barrier when couples hold hands in going to the motorcycle and kiss each other goodbye after the ride?" asked Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto.

Senator questions use of shields in pillion riding
JUST CHECKING. Motorcycle rider (left) flashes his identification card to prove that he and his back rider are a married couple at a police checkpoint. The inter-agency task force on emerging infectious disease requires that pillion riding or “riding in tandem' is allowed only for married couple to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Jr Josue
READ: Pillion riding only for married couples

In a press statement, Recto questioned the requirement—set by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) presumably to prevent the spread of COVID-19—that couples wanting to ride pillion must install a virus shield between them, saying this would be as effective as installing a concrete road divider on the matrimonial bed.

"Isn’t the protection offered them by the motorcycle barrier during the day cancelled by their intimacy at night?" Recto asked.

He also said that such an untested modification to the motorcycle could compromise its roadworthiness and the safety of the driver and the passenger.

"Please don’t get me wrong, I do commend well-meaning initiatives to get breadwinners who ride pillion on motorbikes on the road again, but such should get the green light from science,” he said.

Recto said experts could be asked if couples that sleep together at night without masks can safely ride a motorcycle together with masks and helmets on.

Meanwhile, the operation of the MRT-3 resumes Monday, July 13, on a limited capacity after management was able to assemble enough employees who are not infected by COVID-19.

The urban train line shut down July 7 after 281 of its depot and station personnel and employees of its maintenance provider and subcontractors tested positive for COVID-19.

The infected workers are no in isolation at a government quarantine facility.

On July 11, 1,093 MRT-3 depot personnel and 1,010 station personnel tested negative for COVID-19, exceeding the 1,308 number of workers required to resume train operations on a limited basis.

On Monday, the MRT-3 will be dispatching 12 train sets. The first will be dispatched at 5:30 a.m. from the North Avenue station to the Taft Avenue station.

Contact tracing will strictly be implemented with passengers being required to fill up health declaration forms before boarding.

Following IATF guidelines, all depot and station personnel are required to wear full personal protective equipment (PPE), including face masks, face shields, gowns, and gloves.

The MRT-3 also ramped up its health and safety measures by implementing the “5-minute disinfection hustle” on its trains every half loop (at the end stations at the North Ave. Station and Taft Station).

The MRT-3 Bus Augmentation Program will continue to deploy 90 buses with a fixed three-minute dispatching interval. It will return to normal operating hours, with the first bus departing at 5:30 a.m. and the last bus at 8:00 p.m. from both the North Avenue and Taft Avenue stations.

In addition, 190 buses are being deployed under the EDSA Busway Service to carry passengers between Monumento and the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITx). A mini loop will also run between Timog Avenue. and Ortigas to serve passengers. Shuttle services and mini buses running in the mini loop will be allowed to pick up and drop off passengers at the curbside. 

READ: ‘LGBT couples allowed to do pillion riding’

READ: Angkas proposes plastic shields

Topics: Ralph Recto , Inter-Agency Task Force , COVID-19 , pillion riding , back riding
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