MANILA - Government will strictly impose the use of motorcycle shields beginning July 20 to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the vice chair of the National Task Force against the pandemic said Wednesday.
Motorcycle back-riding was allowed by government starting July 10 for couples only and required physical barriers to limit virus transmission.
"Ngayon sinisita at kino-cautionan sila. Starting Monday magpapatuapd na JTF (Joint Task Force)-SHIELD ng panghuhuli," said Interior Secretary Eduardo Año.
The NTF COVID-19 has approved motorcycle shields designed by Bohol Governor Arthur Yap, which was tested in his province, and Angkas among others, Año said.
"Pinag-aralan naman yan, 'yan ay safe. Even other countries like Indonesia ay ginagamit din yan," Año said of Yap's design.
"Wala namang disgrasya, lalo pa ngang naging maingat yung driver."
(This underwent study and it was found to be safe. Even other countries like Indonesia use it. No accident so far, it made drivers even more careful.)
"Nakita natin very safe dito sa Metro Manila," he said of Angkas' design.
(We found it was very safe for use in Metro Manila.)
The use of motorcycle shield has earned criticism, with Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla saying it was "dangerous, inconvenient, and does not make sense."
Año, however, urged "motorcycle experts" to respect government's policy.
"Marami kasi dyang expert sa pagmomotor. We respect na expert ka sa pagmomotor pero irespeto mo naman yung expert sa pandemic. Sila yung nagsasabi at nagliligtas ng buhay," he said.
(There are many experts in motorcycling. We respect that you are an expert but respect also those who are expert in the pandemic. They are the ones who save lives.)