3rd District Rep. Gil Acosta Jr. has filed a House resolution seeking to suspend the implementation and enforcement of the motorcycle barrier policy, stressing there is no scientific data that can support claims that they can prevent the transfer of COVID-19 from rider to the passenger.
House Resolution No. 1076 was filed by Rep. Acosta on July 28 to the House of Representatives, three days before the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases’ (IATF-EID) implementation of the policy Saturday.
Taking to social media, Acosta explained three bases for requesting the temporary suspension of the motorcycle barrier for the pillion-riding public.
He first cited the Motorcycle Development Program Association, Inc.’ (MDPAI) exposition that all motorcycle designs from brand members Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, and Kawasaki underwent years of careful designing, planning, and development, and any alteration or fixtures added might harm the safety of the riders.
His resolution also mentioned that the barrier or shield “will create significant wind resistance when the motorcycle is in motion”.
It does not only reduce “aerodynamic efficiency”, but it can also affect the balance of the motorcycle as the “crosswinds” can throw it off balance even when running at low speed.
“Una, ayon sa Motorcycle Development Program Association, Inc., samahan ng mga manufacturer ng motorsiklo, ang disenyo ng motorsiklo ngayon ay kanilang masusing pinag aralan kaya anumang bagay ang ikakabit sa motorsiklo ay posibleng maging dahilan ng aksidente,” his post said.
Acosta’s post further claims that the Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers, Inc. (PSMEI) strongly believes that the barriers cannot do anything to protect the motorcycle riders.
If there is anything, it can even harm their health and safety, he said.
“Ayon sa Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers, Inc., naniniwala silang walang magagawa ang mga barrier upang maprotektahan ang mga sakay ng motorsiklo. At panghuli, walang sayentipikong basehan na makatutulong ang paglalagay ng barrier sa mga motorsiklo para maiwasan ang pagkalat ng Covid-19,” Acosta added.
Various barrier-related accidents have been recorded previously, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a briefing that they were due to “faulty materials” used by the riders.
He said their investigation revealed that the barriers employed on the motorcycle were faulty. He was referring to a recent viral photo of a motorcycle that met an accident because its owner used a barrier made of glass.