MANILA - The head of the Joint Task Force COVID Shield on Wednesday clarified that motorcycle barriers are still required for those who are not living in the same household.
“Kailangan pa rin ang barrier doon sa hindi sila nakatira sa isang lugar at marami po 'yan. Sa panahon ngayon pamilyahan na ang hawaan ng virus. In essence, ito po ay additional safety net. Hindi naman masasayang yan, pwedeng gamitin yan ‘di lang sapilitan,” said Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar on Wednesday morning.
On Tuesday, the National Task Force for COVID-19 released new protocols for motorcycle pillion riders or "backriding" in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ).
Under the new rules, riders living in the same house do not need to use a motorcycle barrier.
“Ito po 'yung magka-angkas na nakatira sa iisang bahay kahit kayo ay magkakaanak o hindi, iisa ang address niyo hindi nyo na kailangan ang motorcycle barrier,” Eleazar said.
However, those who do not live in the same house must have an approved backpack-like shield designed by ride-hailing company Angkas.
The pillion rider or "backrider" must also be an authorized personnel outside of residence (APOR), while the driver may or may not be an APOR.
Both rider and backrider must also wear facemask and full-faced helmet.
Eleazar said that the motorcycle must be privately-owned and not hired.
“Ito ay under GCQ at alam natin na 15 lamang, kokonti ang nasa GCQ. 'Yung rest of the Philippines na under ng MGCQ pinauubaya na natin sa local chief executives 'yung discretion to adopt or implement itong guidelines na ito according sa umiiral na local situation sa area,” he said.
Meanwhile, Eleazar urged the public to help authorities by reporting violations of protocols to the hotline of the JTF COVID Shield.
“Napakaganda sana kung iuulat ng ating mga kababayan kung merong mga violation ng physical distancing and other protocols sa inyong area,” said Eleazar.
The Joint Task Force COVID Shield’s hotline numbers are the following:
As of Tuesday night, Eleazar said they have received 11,751 calls and 1,981 emails of reports and comments on protocols that are being implemented.
He also stressed that only essential workers or those buying essentials are allowed to go out. Travel authority is still need needed for non essential workers who need to cross borders.