Davao motorcycle riders urged to wait for IATF guidelines on back-riding

Robie de Guzman   •   June 25, 2020   •   630

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has called on motorcycle riders to wait for the official guidelines on motorcycle back-riding to be released by the national Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

In a statement, Duterte-Carpio stressed that back-riding on motorcycle remains prohibited under current IATF rules as this practice do not promote physical distancing against the spread of novel coronavirus disease.

Malacañang earlier said that the national task force will soon release a set of guidelines in response to growing calls for the return of motorcycle back-riding due to difficulty in securing public transportation amid community quarantine restrictions.

“Maghulat ta aning guidelines nga gina-ingon nila [National Task Force – NTF] sa back-riding. Dunay guidelines na mogawas, so kining guidelines atong hulaton because as I’ve said kaniadto pag sugod sa IATF, ang mga guidelines, mao na ang sundon sa tanang LGUs,” Duterte-Carpio said.

(Let us wait for the guidelines on back-riding. There will be guidelines that will come out. As I have said before when the IATF was established, the guidelines are to be followed by all LGUs.)

Meanwhile, the 18th City Council on Tuesday passed a resolution supporting the national government in allowing back riding in motorcycle but such national policy should not only limit for family members as back riders but also for the public.

Second District Councilor Danilo Dayanghirang, the proponent of the resolution, said that this is to address the difficulty of finding public transportation under the general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

“The return of motorcycle as one of the modalities of public transportation considered as sustainable and predictable in terms of route availability opens the general public a choice to avail of and at the same time, propel economic activity for these drivers who long to recover from this pandemic,” the resolution reads. 

Sara Duterte to skip father’s 5th SONA

Robie de Guzman   •   July 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, said she will not be attending the fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) of her father, President Rodrigo Duterte which is set to be held on Monday, July 27 at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City.

In an interview over Davao City Disaster Radio on Wednesday, Duterte-Carpio said she is skipping this year’s SONA because she wants to avoid the cumbersome health requirements like going through swab testing and 14-day mandatory requirement as imposed on Davao-bound passengers to curb the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“Hindi pa ako dumadaan sa RT-PCR testing and of course, pag ganyan babalik na naman ako sa pagho-home quarantine ng 14 days. It’s not something na I want to do again kay dumaan na ako sa ganyan,” she said referring to the time she underwent home quarantine last March after her meeting in Manila with Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, who came in contact with a COVID-19 patient.

Mayor Sara also said she would rather stay in Davao City than travel to Manila to witness her father address the nation.

She also advised the public to watch the president’s SONA to hear about his administration’s accomplishments and other plans before his term ends in 2022. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Marisol Montaño)

IATF urged anew to reconsider rule on motorcycle barriers for riding couples

Robie de Guzman   •   July 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. on Monday reiterated his appeal to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) to reconsider its policy on the use of barriers for motorcycle riding couples.

In a statement, Revilla said the IATF should heed the sentiments of riders, several engineers and other experts on the mandatory installation of barriers in motorcycles due to concerns on safety, aerodynamics and maneuverability for riders.

“Napakarami po sa ating mga kababayan ang mismong nagsasabi na nahihirapan silang magbalanse at mag-maneuver ng kanilang motorsiklo dahil sa divider,” he said.

The senator suggested that the IATF conduct a comprehensive consultation among motorcycle manufacturers and experts to come up with better guidelines that will protect motorcycle riders from obtaining COVID-19 and at the same time, spare them from any road mishaps.

“Sa hirap po ng buhay ngayon lalo na’t marami sa ating mga kababayan ang walang hanapbuhay at pambili ng divider, napipilitan silang mag-improvise ng sarili nilang barricade. Mas nalalagay tuloy sa alanganin ang ating mga kababayan lalo na kung yung improvised na divider nila ay hindi matibay ang pagkakakabit, marupok ang materyales, o di kaya’y kulang o sobra sa bigat,” he said.

Revilla renewed his call after Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, Joint Task Force (JTF) COVID Shield Commander, announced on July 18 that the government is extending the deadline for the installation of motorcycle barriers from July 19 to July 26.

Eleazar earlier said that the deadline was moved to give more time for motorcycle riders to install barriers based on the two designs approved by the task force.

“Gusto natin kasi na maka-comply sila, mabigyan ng mahaba pang oras para doon sa mga design na inilabas ng National Task Force. At ‘yon nga din ang panawagan n’ong iba na pwede makahinga ng extension pati na rin itong naglabas ng design at sa Angkas, sinasabi nga nila mas maganda siguro na mas makarami na maka-avail n’ong design na inilabas nila,” Eleazar said.

He said that after July 26, they will apprehend those who will violate the new rule.

Since the task force announced the policy allowing pillion riding in motorcycle for couples on July 10, authorities have monitored more than 7,000 violators in various parts of the country. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Davao City eyes new protocols for returning residents, Davao-bound travelers

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 16, 2020

The Davao City Government will be enforcing new protocols for returning residents, including Davao-bound passengers to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the city.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte said they have begun implementing the COVID-19 ‘Test and Wait’ mechanism for returning Davao City residents, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), and the locally stranded individuals (LSIs).

“It means that we test them and let them wait in a holding area. When the results come out, they can go home for home quarantine,” she said.

Meanwhile, Duterte has requested the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to require all Davao City-bound passengers to submit a negative RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours of the departure date.

The Davao International Airport (DIA) resumed operations last June 8 and has been receiving OFWs, LSIs, and commercial flight passengers since it reopened.

The Davao mayor already raised concerns over the increasing cases of COVID-19. Based on reports, many of the cases are returning individuals from Manila. AAC

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