The National Task Force (NTF) for COVID-19 has approved a second barrier design for couples who do motorcycle pillion riding to comply with social distancing requirements.
The design is similar to the backpack-type model being used by motorcycle taxi company Angkas, wherein the driver wears a plastic contraption that provides space between the driver and pillion rider.
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Año said July 13 on national news outlet PTV that two currently approved prototypes approved by the NTF must always be used for couples who ride motorcycles.
“We encourage the motorcycle-riding public to utilize these two prototypes na inaprubahan na din naman ng NTF kaya inaasahan natin na ang ating mga kababayan ay makikiisa at susunod sa pamantayang ito,” said Año.
As of Monday, the national government only allows pillion riding for married, common-law, and live-in couples.
Año added that the second design can be worn by the driver, unlike the first design that consisted of only a plastic cover and a basic frame propped up between the driver and the rider.
“This second approved design is somehow simpler as it will only be strapped to the motorcycle driver and not mounted directly on the motorcycle itself, unlike the first design. Maganda din naman na mayroong option ang ating mga kababayan but as of today, both are already approved to be used,” Año said.
The first barrier design was proposed by Bohol governor Arthur Yap. The design was approved last July 10, according to Año.
Malacañang has maintained that pillion riding will only be allowed for married, common-law, and live-in couples. Married couples must always also bring their marriage certificates while common-law or live-in couples must bring proof that they reside in the same household.
“Sa issue ng back riding, inuulit namin na it is strictly for husband and wives, common-law couples, and live-in partners. Sa mga kasal, magdala dapat kayo ng pruwebo na kayo ay kasal. Sa mga live-in at common-law relationships, magdala kayo ng ID na pinapakita na pareho ang inyong mga address,” said presidential spokesperson Harry Roque in a virtual presser July 13.