Año: Barriers required for motorcycle taxis; passengers encouraged to have own helmets
Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año on Sunday said motorcycle taxis are still required to use barriers after the House Committee on Transportation passed a resolution continuing their pilot study on the service.
In a radio interview, Año said the barrier will be a big help for the commuters to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease.
“Barrier is a requirement for motorcycle taxis because they do not know each other,” he said.
Aside from the barrier, the secretary also encouraged commuters to have their own helmets as the country is still facing a health crisis due to COVID-19.
“For our commuters, we hope they will have their own helmet so that there is no need for them to borrow (the one owned by the rider), although they (rider) will disinfect it we encourage the passengers to have their own,” Año said.
He clarified that having own helmet in availing this service is not a requirement.
“We only highly-encourage… It depends on the commuter,” the secretary said.
He also reminded the public to not go to work or go outside if they are not feeling well.
Año said motorcycle taxis can continue to operate without franchise as long as the Congress will not stop their study on the mode of transportation.
“It will be a great help now that there is a pandemic and I think the Congress will already have a decision on the franchise even before the pandemic ends,” he said.
Año also said that the motorcycle taxi operation may also be stopped if there will be another surge in COVID-19 cases in the country.
“That is our condition. If there is a surge, spike, wave, it will stop. All the easing of restrictions we did once there is another wave, we have to stop it but the key is cooperation,” he said.
“We believe that the number of new cases is being controlled, managed because the public is following the minimum health standards,” he added.
In a separate radio interview, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said there is no need for President Rodrigo Duterte to use his emergency powers to allow resumption of operation of the motorcycle taxis.
“The House Committee on Transportation released their resolution that could be the basis of DOTr (Department of Transportation) to allow the Angkas and Joyride to go back on operation,” Roque said.
“I don’t think there is a need (for emergency powers),” he said.
As of now, the country has Angkas and Joy ride as motorcycle taxi providers. Ella Dionisio/DMS