THE Motorcycle Federation of the Philippines (MFP) has expressed opposition to the motorcycle prototype approved by the government for backriding.
MFP director Atoy Sta. Cruz said putting protective barriers on motorcycles is “very unsafe” and “inconvenient” both for the driver and the passenger.
He said a helmet should be enough protection to avoid the transmission of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Sta. Cruz said also said installing protective barriers for couples living under the same roof is nonsense.
“Lahat naman ng helmet ay merong face shield proteksyon na yun. Pag magpapakarga ka ng gasolina tatanggalin mo yan kasi nasa ilalim ang gas tank namin sa ilalim ng upuan. Pag nadisgrasya o nagkaroon kayo ng road crash sumemplang kayong mag-asawa, may posibilidad na ‘yung metal frame nya ay tumusok sa backride o sa asawa mo na angkas mo,” he said.
“Pag nilagyan mo nyan wala na yung asawa mo at pauwi ka na matatapat ka na may malakas na hangin baka maging wind breaker yan e magwi- wiggle ang motor mo, masisira ang balance ng rider,“ he added.
Backriding on motorcycles is allowed starting on July 10, but only for couples living in the same house in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ.
The government has also required the installation of a barrier between the driver and the passenger.
Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar, Joint Task Force (JTF) Covid Shield commander and Philippine National Police (PNP) deputy chief for operations said they will begin to issue citation tickets to violators on Saturday.
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año defended the requirement to install barriers.
"'Yung regarding naman kasi sa accident-prone, both sides 'yan eh, both ways 'yan, kahit naman walang shield o walang barrier, katakot-takot 'yung aksidente ng motor. Nasa driver talaga 'yan," he said.
"Baka nga lalong mas magiging maingat 'yung driver kung may barrier sa likod niya eh, nasanay kasi 'yung mga motorista... sino ba 'yung may gustong maglagay ng modification, kaya lang iba rin 'yung sitwasyon ngayon eh," he added.
Año assured that experts are looking into the design before its implementation. He said they are also still open to proposals.
He urged the public to wait as backriding among relatives, and not just couples and partners, would also be allowed soon.
"Unti-unti ba, hinay-hinay lang... darating din siguro tayo diyan pagka siguro gumaganda na 'yung numero sa cases natin," he said.
The prototype approved by the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 was the one proposed by Bohol Governor Arthur Yap. (SunStar Philippines)