The Sangguniang Panlalawigan is asking the national Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to reconsider the mandatory installation of motorcycle barriers in the province.
Several board members are pushing on the appeal, citing the positions already taken by several personalities including Cavite governor Jonvic Remulla and senators Ralph Recto and Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr.
Provincial board member and main proponent Ryan Maminta said that the heightened risk of motorcycle accidents and added expenses to install a barrier were some reasons the national IATF should consider before mandating all motorcycle users to set up barriers before July 26.
He added that helmets and face masks are sufficient preventive measures against the ongoing pandemic.
“We are grateful for the national IATF for lifting the ban on back riding. The majority of Palawan residents are motorcycle riders. However, putting up motorcycle barriers will cost around 1000-2000 pesos. There are also safety concerns,” said Maminta.
“Baka puwede i-allow na lang ang helmet at face masks lang imbis na barrier,” he added.
He said that a barrier is also pointless if couples were the only ones allowed to pillion ride, as they live in the same household anyway and are physically intimate.
“Kung hindi ako nagkakamali, may isang senador na nagsabi, pinayagan nga ang mag-asawa na mag-angkas. Pag-angkas, maghahawakan din. Pagbaba ng motor, may goodbye kiss pa,” he added.
Fellow board members spoke up to voice their support for the resolution during the session.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) extended the deadline for the installation of motorcycle barriers early last week from July 20 to July 26. The mandate remains to be one of the most controversial requirements of the national IATF to ensure social distancing measures because of the heightened risk of motorcycle accidents.
Senator Pro Tempore Ralph Recto recently remarked that installing a barrier is also useless because couples normally kiss and hold hands before and after riding a motorcycle. He added that the added protection against COVID-19 is even canceled out when couples are physically intimate at home.”