MinDA asks IATF to suspend “oppressive” policy on barriers for motorcycles

Jul. 26, 2020

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) has asked the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on COVID-19 to reconsider and suspend its policy requiring barriers for motorcycle back riders.

Starting Monday, July 27, IATF will require motorcycles to travel with barriers purposely as prevention for the spread of COVID-19.

“We support the IATF’s effort to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus but surely, there are other ways of doing it other than implementing measures which would make life more difficult for our people,” MinDA Chairperson Emmanuel Piñol said on his FB post.

In his July 23 memorandum to the IATF, Piñol cited several reasons why the policy should not be implemented.

He said putting up the barrier is impractical and dangerous to the riding tandem. A strong gust of wind caused by huge vehicles coming from the opposite direction could throw the motorcycle off-balance and may lead to accidents.

The policy, he added, is expensive and oppressive as the barrier “will be an added financial burden on poor families who use motorcycles for livelihood and transport, and the excessive fines on violators of the policy could open a new window for corruption.”

The regulation, he furthered, is also viewed as “discriminatory because the concern on the possible transmission of [COVID-19] between two people traveling together is only focused on motorcycle riding but it ignores the fact that those traveling inside air-conditioned private cars face greater risks.”

Piñol said the memorandum was to give IATF officials “a clearer understanding of the reaction of the common Filipino on the ground.”

The IATF policy, he noted, will affect efforts to restart the economy in Mindanao, as well as in other rural areas of the country where the motorcycle is the main vehicle for transport and livelihood. (davaotoday.com)

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