Recto twits gov’t as motorbike divider rule eased: ‘Barrier to common sense lifted’
MANILA, Philippines — The “barrier of common sense” was finally lifted, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said Wednesday after the government approved pillion riding without barriers for those living in the same house.
The National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 said Tuesday protective dividers are no longer required for riders living in the same house in areas under general community quarantine.
“The barrier to common sense has finally been lifted,” Recto said in a statement.
Some motorists and experts earlier expressed concern over the use of a physical barrier while aboard a motorcycle, but it is not a “safety concern” according to officials.
“No IATF [Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases] rule triggered the greatest resistance and launched the most jokes. And the fact that they stonewalled for a long time and stubbornly defended it, despite evidence to the contrary, inflicted damage on their reputation,” Recto said.
“People were saying that if IATF can’t understand this simple thing, how can they be trusted on complex missions,” he went on.
Recto also said that motorcycle taxi firm Angkas’ “backpack” design of protective shield “should not be patented.”
“No monopoly on sale and production. Let the specs be given to the public for free,” he added.
The NTF said riders not living in the same household should still use the protective barrier proposed by Angkas.
Angkas’ design allows drivers to wear the protective barrier to prevent the possible transmission of COVID-19 to the passenger.
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