Allow married couples to ride pillion on motorcycles, Recto urges gov’t
MANILA, Philippines — “If they share the same bed at night, why can’t they ride a bike together during the day?”
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto posed this question on Monday as he urged the government to allow married couples to ride the same motorcycles.
The country’s COVID-19 task force has banned motorcycle taxis and motorcycle pillion riding for relatives and married couples as these transportation modes do not observe physical distancing.
Despite this, Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia stood by her decision to allow riding pillion on privately-owned motorcycles in the province, which President Rodrigo Duterte had opposed.
But Recto said the government should let a “husband-and-wife to ride a motorcycle in tandem” in order to ease the “brutal” lack of transportation.
The senator also urged the government to allow public utility vehicles (PUVs) to “restart their engines.”
“There are three important T’s today: tests, trabaho, transportasyon (jobs, transportation). Screening for coronavirus is no longer a requisite for returning to work. But without a ride, there is no work. And no work, no pay,” Recto said.
“Allowing workplaces to open without providing the people with the means to go there is like telling the President he can now cross the Pasig River from his residence to his office for as long he does not ride any boats,” he added.
“That, today, is the sink-or-swim situation for the nation’s breadwinners,” he further stressed.
Bike for workers
The senator also said the government should put up more bike lanes and conduct “mass distribution” of bicycles to employees.
“Bike lanes are not complex, sunk-in-the-ground infra projects. And bikes are CBU (completely built unit), off-the-shelf items, unlike a new train which must undergo tedious procurement,” he pointed out.
Recto also called on the government to allow jeepney and UV drivers, who he said “have turned their fare boxes into begging bowls,” to ply on roads again.
“But they can go out and pasada again only if we partly subsidize the seats that we are compelling them to keep vacant. Running half-empty at the same old fares, further reduced for students and seniors, will be the final nail in their coffins,” he said.
“And more buses, please, for they are the tickets out of temporary unemployment,” he added.
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