Another barrier design for motorcycle riders, designed like a backpack worn by the vehicle's driver, was approved by the National Task Force Against COVID-19 on Monday.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said motorists can now use the barrier to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease.
Motorcycle taxi service firm Angkas, which created the passenger shield design, thanked the task force for the approval.\
READ: Angkas proposes plastic shields
“The responsiveness that you have shown especially during this pandemic is a great service to the Filipino people,” George Royeca, Chief Transport Advocate of Angkas, said in a statement.
“This is the culmination of many long weeks of testing and improving dozens of prototypes. We look forward to collaborating closely with the IATF on this and furthering the safety of all Filipinos during this pandemic,” he added.
Government earlier approved a barrier design attached to the motorcycle after it allowed backriding for couples.
However, Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla has described the bike-attached design as "dangerous, inconvenient, and does not make sense."
Meanwhile, the task force said Monday motorcycle drivers and their back-riders must show proof they are a couple to avoid being arrested.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said a back-rider will be asked to present documents at quarantine control points or to law enforcers as proof that he or she is married to the driver.
READ: Pillion riding only for married couples
He said a married couple should have the same last name, and common-law partners must have the same address.
Año says married couples should bring copies of their marriage certificates and present IDs if asked by law enforcers.
The NTF has approved motorcycle back-riding using a prototype barrier but says only married or common-law couples may ride together in a bike.
Año says a prototype design submitted by Bohol Gov. Arthur Yap had been adopted by the National Task Force for COVID-19.
He says despite allowing pillion-riding for couples, the public must still know the proper protocols by the IATF, which includes the installation of protective barriers in the motorcycle.
He also says the policies on wearing face masks in public will be strictly implemented.
“Only couples are allowed. Husband and wife can be apprehended if there is no barrier,” Año said.
“They still have a grace period to place a barrier in their motorcycles. The Joint Task Force COVID-19 Shield will recommend the grace period.”
READ: Senator questions use of shields in pillion ridingREAD: ‘LGBT couples allowed to do pillion riding’
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