A Palawan motorcycle enthusiast group expressed qualms on the mandate by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) requiring all motorcycle riders to put up barriers between the rider and the driver on or before July 20.
Palawan Motorcycle Organization (PMO) President Eduard Miagao on Friday said that while the group is grateful for the national government’s efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, a barrier puts motorcycle users at even greater risk of accidents.
In an interview with Palawan News July 17, Miagao said that the recent announcement by City Information Officer (CIO) Richard Ligad requiring all motorcycle users – only spouses and common-law couples – to install barriers between the driver and the rider was unfeasible, if not dangerous, to all motorcycle users.
“Una kasi sa lahat, kapag may barrier sa gitna ng motor, tatamaan ito ng hangin habang umaandar ang motor. Naaapektuhan ang aerodynamics ng pagmamaneho at tumataas ang chance ng aksidente ng mga motorista,” said Miagao.
Ligad on his Facebook post Friday has warned the motorcycle backriders that the DILG’s initiative would be strictly enforced in the city.
He added that there are two kinds of motorcycles – one with the fuel tank in front of the driver and the other with the gas tank under the driver’s seat. The national government has not made clear how the approved barrier designs will be compatible to these two types of motorcycles.
“Kapag ikakabit kasi ang barrier sa seat, kailangan pang baklasin ang motor, dagdag hirap pa iyon sa may-ari. Tapos, hindi rin malinaw kung paano tatanggalin ang barrier kapag magpapa-refuel,” said Miagao.
Miagao added that the organization observed that only motorcycle users were being given strict guidelines, unlike owners of cars or even public utility vehicles.
“Nagtataka kami kung bakit ang mga nagmomotor ang daming mga restrictions. Samantalang, ang mga public vehicles, hindi naman tsinitsek kung compliant ba sila sa mga barriers nila. Ang mga may kotse, hindi rin pinapara sa mga checkpoint eh minsan kapag tinted pa ang bintana, hindi man lang tsinitsek kung ilan ang tao sa loob,” he said.
Miagao has asked officials if there are corresponding fines or penalties for those who will not install barriers.
“Sabi naman ni CIO, sa ngayon ay face mask, helmet, at gloves pa lang naman ang ire-require nila sa mga nagmomotor, kasi nga, wala naming mabibilhan o makakagawa ng barrier na approved ng national government,” he said. “At wala pa naman daw na napag-uusapang mga multa o penalty.”
Miagao concluded that while the PMO commends the national government in making measures to protect its citizens from the ongoing pandemic, they wish that this policy was more well-thought of and deliberated on.
“We are grateful naman na the government is taking measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, sana naman pinag-iisipang mabuti muna ang mga ginagawang mga panukala bago ipatupad. Hindi talaga magandng idea ang motorcycle barrier at useless din ito dahil kung ang mag-asawa lang naman ang pinapayagang mag-angkasan, bakit pa kailangan ng barrier?” said Miagao.