A HOUSE leader on Wednesday urged President Rodrigo Duterte and the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) against coronavirus disease-19 (COVID)-19 to allow back-riding spouses on motorcycles in Metro Manila, Central Luzon and other areas under general community quarantine (GCQ).
“From the point of view of avoiding the virus, it is definitely safer for a spouse to ride with her husband than taking the bus or tricycle to work or to the grocery to buy household essentials,” said House Assistant Majority Leader and Quezon City Rep. Precious Castelo.
“At least, she knows that her spouse is not infected. If he were, she would not ride with him and she would isolate him for her family’s safety. I am sure the President and the IATF would appreciate this,” added Castelo.
For easier enforcement, Castelo suggested that the IATF require couples to obtain a certification from their barangay chairman as proof of their marriage and to always have with them a photocopy of their marriage certificate for presentation to law enforcement officers manning checkpoints.
Despite the fielding of more buses and opening of more routes, Castelo lamented that public transportation is still not sufficient to transport workers to their workplaces.
“Thus, we see many employees crowding loading areas for bus passengers and train stations. Allowing back-riding spouses will certainly ease this congestion,” Castelo stressed.
Castelo noted reports on television showing a couple on a motorcycle with the wife holding a plastic frame as barrier to separate her from her husband in compliance with physical distancing protocols.
Several other lawmakers have appealed for allowing back-riders.
However, Castelo’s proposal is limited to back-riding married couples.
The provincial government of Cebu has also pleaded with President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte to allow back-riders in the province due to limited public transportation.
Earlier, Castelo urged the IATF and the Metro Manila Development Authority to designate a specific lane on EDSA for users of bicycles and small motorcycles, which she said have become a popular means of transportation among low-income families during this time of pandemic.
She has also asked the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to regulate prices of bikes and their parts.