Go urges officials: Avoid 'rushed' resumption of motorcycle taxi operations

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 22 2020 12:31 PM

Go urges officials: Avoid 'rushed' resumption of motorcycle taxi operations 1
A motor taxi navigates through a main thoroughfare in Quezon City on January 20, 2020. Jire Carreon, ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA - Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go on Sunday urged the national government to avoid "rushing" its planned resumption of motorcycle taxi operations even if it is expected ease transportation woes during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.

Malacañang earlier announced that the government may soon allow backriding in motorcycles, saying the guidelines for the policy is already being finalized.

"Huwag lang po natin madaliin. Siguraduhin dapat na magagawa ito sa ligtas na paraan," Go, who chairs the Senate Committee on Health, said in a statement.

(We should not rush it. We should make sure that it will be implemented in a safe way.)

"Dapat pag-aralan muna kung 'yung mga proposals tulad ng paggamit ng plastic dividers sa gitna ng nagmamaneho at ng pasahero ay sapat upang hindi makahawa ng sakit," he said.

(We have to study if using plastic dividers between the driver and the passenger is sufficient to block the transmission of the virus.)

Last week, motorcycle hailing firms Angkas and JoyRide proposed the use of plastic dividers clipped on the back of drivers, but several transportation groups said that contraption may lead to accidents.

Passengers in two-wheeled vehicles remain prohibited in areas under general community quarantine, including Metro Manila where thousands of commuters had relied on motorcycle taxis for transport to avoid gridlocks.

While the resumption of motorcycle taxi operations can also provide employment for Filipinos, health and safety should be the "most importan" consideration, Go said.