MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – Responding to a public outcry against its new rule requiring a barrier between motorcycle driver and spouse/partner rider, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has approved a third, no-cost alternative to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Earlier, the IATF required motorcycle drivers to mount a plexiglass barrier to separate them from authorized back riders (limited to spouses or partners living in the same household). It also approved a backpack-type barrier to be worn by the driver.
Many citizens protested the new rule, citing both safety and extra cost to motorcycle owners.
During an emergency meeting held today in Malacañang, the IATF approved a third option that will not cost a single penny to motorcycle owners.
The alternative involves the motocycle rider facing away (opposite direction) from the driver to prevent exposure to possibly-infected respiratory moisture or droplets.
The new rule still requires both driver and ride to wear a face mask. Proof of marriage or cohabitation must also be presentation at checkpoints, or when stopped by law enforcers.
The people have spoken. IATF has listened.