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Sara Duterte says Davao to have own rules on pillion rides

DAVAO CITY—Amid the long wait for guidelines to be issued by the national Inter-agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) on pillion riding, the local government here is formulating its own.

And if the national government fails to have one within a week, Mayor Sara Duterte said the city government would allow the practice using its own rules.

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Duterte said the city government has sent a letter on Monday (July 6) to the IATF asking for guidelines on pillion riding in motorcycles.

“If they do not come back to us within one week, then we will proceed with the back ride (practice),” said Duterte.

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Pillion riding has been banned by the national IATF to prevent coronavirus transmission between the driver and rider.

But among people who depend on this as their principal means of transport, there’s a strong clamor for pillion riding to be allowed as long as health protocols, like wearing of masks, are heeded strictly.

Many complaints against the ban have been aired by couples, who could not share a motorcycle ride even if they sleep together at home.

Amid the shortage of jeepneys on the road, motorcycle taxis are increasingly becoming a cheaper alternative to taxicabs.

In June, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the national IATF has started crafting guidelines on pillion riding as the body has agreed in principle to allow this mode of transportation.

Mayor Duterte said motorcycles as a mode of transport should be allowed as there are areas that badly need these.

She added that the city government’s rules for allowing pillion riding included an “engineering intervention to prevent the spread of saliva.”

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This is the fourth time that the presidential daughter stood firm on the local government’s policy the health crisis.

The first was when she placed the city under community quarantine mid-March even if there were still no recorded COVID-19 cases, saying the absence of cases could be due to lack of testing.

Another was on allowing tricycles back on the road to provide an alternative to taxicabs despite the city being under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), which prohibits buses and jeepneys.

When the ECQ was lifted last May, barber shops reopened. But within two days, the national IATF decided to disallow it.

Duterte stood pat against the IATF decision on barber shop closures, saying rules should not be changed suddenly because these have strong impacts on people’s livelihoods.

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TAGS: #COVID19PH, Coronavirus, coronavirus Philippines, motorcycle, pillion ride, taxicabs, Transportation
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