NegOr, Dgte appeal to NIATF: Reconsider ‘no back-riding’ policy
NEGROS ORIENTAL, June 17 (PIA) — The Negros Oriental Inter-Agency Task Force (NOIATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases passed a resolution requesting the national IATF and DILG Sec. Eduardo Año to reconsider the ruling over the “no back-riding” policy for motorcycles in the country.
NOIATF appealed for the exemption to allow back-riding because motorcycles constitute 80 percent of the means of transportation here.
Motorcycles are essential conveyance for the families, and habal-habal drivers have already been identified and are familiar with their passengers riding daily in the hinterlands.
Since public transportation vehicles operate at a reduced capacity in areas under general community quarantine such as Negros Oriental and Dumaguete City, riding a motorcycle is necessary to make travelling simpler for many.
Dumaguete City is tagged as the “motorcycle capital” of the country due to the number of motorcyles plying the narrow streets in the city and most part of the city can be travelled in short distances, thus making motorcycle the most convenient form of transportation to go around the city and its neighboring towns.
However, back-riding on motorcycles is prohibited by the government, as it is a violation of physical distancing which is one of the ways to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease.
Meanwhile, Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo has urged the national IATF to reconsider its imposition of the one-passenger per tricycle policy, including the no-backrider policy on motorcycles.
Remollo said it would be better for the national IATF to delegate and entrust some of the COVID-19 responses to the local government units (LGUs) so they would be empowered and more responsive to the local needs and situations.
The mayor said the Philippine National Police and Highway Patrol Group as enforcers of the policy must also take into consideration if the motorists and passengers have substantially complied with the objective of preventing COVID-19 transmission.
As an example, tricycles in Dumaguete City are bigger and more spacious than most tricycles in Metro Manila and urbanized cities.
“Taking this into account, our local tricycles (pedicab) may be allowed to have two passengers at a time provided that a clear plastic (sheet) will be utilized as a shield to separate each passenger and driver while wearing face masks as means to prevent infection,” the mayor said.
While the intention of the national IATF is to impose rules that will prevent the spread of COVID-19, Remollo also underscored the different situations and setting of every LGU that call for varying, or sometimes a combination of, best responses to become effective. (jct/PIA7 Negros Oriental)