Angkas’ backpack design for pillion riding gets COVID task force’s OK
MANILA, Philippines — National Task Force COVID-19 chairman and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Monday said the proposed “backpack” design by motorcycle taxi firm Angkas for back-riding has been approved “effective immediately.”
“Effective immediately, the above barriers between motorcycle driver and passengers are hereby approved,” Lorenzana told reporters in a message.
The proposed “backpack” design, which allows passengers behind motorcycle drivers, has dividers and handles between the riders and passengers to prevent the transmission of coronavirus.
Back-riding on motorcycles with strict health protocols among couples and partners was initially allowed since July 10.
Earlier, the government task force approved the prototype of the “backpack” design that can be used by motorcycle-riding couples.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año also said that the new design of protective shields as well as the earlier approved design from Bohol Governor Arthur Yap both complied with the minimum health standards set by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease among those riding pillion in motorcycles.
“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,” said Año.
“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,” he also said.
(We encourage the motorcycle-riding public to utilize these two prototypes which are both approved by the NTF. We expect the people to comply with this directive.)
Año also stressed that only married couples and live-in partners were so far allowed for motorcycle pillion riding as part of health protocols against the coronavirus disease. However, he said he does not discount the possibility that more people will be allowed for pillion riding once the COVID-19 situation improves.
The newly-approved protective shield is made of lightweight and high-density plastic to allow road visibility and has handles that can be used by the pillion rider, according to the Interior chief.
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