More than 7,000 motorcycle riders across the country have been warned since the government on July 10 allowed pillion riding only for married couples or live-in partners.
Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, JTF COVID Shield commander, said the 7,091 violators recorded as of July 18 showed the government’s resolve to implement the two rules for pillion riding: that there must be barriers that pass the safety standard of the National Task Force for COVID-19 and the riders must be married or live-in couples.
“For a long time, motorcycle riders had repeatedly requested the government to allow at least their partners to back-ride with them due to limited public transportation,” Eleazar said in a statement.
“And now that the government finally granted their request, they openly and brazenly disregarded the rules.”
Test kits ready
The Health department said Sunday the test kits developed by University of the Philippines scientists were now ready for commercial use.
The kits, which were approved by the Food and Drug Administration for commercial sale, were recalled in mid-May to undergo re-validation due to a minor deficiency.
In a statement, the department said the key issue in the UP test kits, called Genamplify, had been addressed.
"After several months of collaboration, we are proud to say GenAmplify version 2, the country's very own RT-PCR test kit, is finally ready for commercial use," the department said.
Mass testing backed
Some House leaders have backed a mass testing for COVID-19 to reopen the economy and preserve jobs.
Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, AnaK Kalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor, and Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin supported San Miguel Corp. president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang that the government must upgrade its mass testing, saying “we cannot lock down forever because people need to work to pay for their meals” and survive.
The officials challenged Heath Secretary Francisco Duque III for his failure to defeat the spread of COVID-19.
“We should intensify mass testing, implement test trace and treat and big corporations should do this on their own employees and maybe their families too. The initiative of Ramon Ang should be the cue of all corporations,” Barbers said.
New subjects pushed
Pandemics, epidemics and other health emergencies should be included in the subjects of primary and secondary schools in the country, Senator Sonny Angara said Sunday.
He said the experience of the Philippines with the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly on the behavior of many Filipinos in spite of the dangers to their health, left much to be desired.
He said there were constant reminders about wearing face masks, covering sneezes and coughs and social distancing during the pandemic, but many people still insisted on ignoring these health protocols.
Senator Christopher Lawrence Go is pushing for a stricter implementation of policy on the mandatory wearing of face masks in public to combat the spread of COVID-19.