Angkas presents shield to protect rider and passenger from spread of disease

Motorcycle taxi and delivery provider, Angkas, presented a proposal for a protective shield. The device is hoped to ease the government’s worries over social distancing when on a motorcycle.

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The device was presented by Angkas chief transport advocate, George Royeca, in a meeting with Congresswoman Precious Hipolito Castelo, chairperson of the House Committee on Transportation; her husband, Councilor Winston Castelo; and Dr. Jun Belizario of the University of the Philippines College of Public Health.

The device is meant to be worn by the partner rider. It is made of lightweight, high-density plastic, to allow the passenger to still see the road ahead, while serving as a non-permeable barrier to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. The semi-flexible shield comes with handles for the passenger to hold on to.

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While the shield provides plenty of protection against the spread of the disease, Royeca suggested that passengers should still bring their own helmet for additional safety.

This is not the first device conceived to allow motorcycle riders to carry passengers. Last week, Bohol Governor, Art Yap, came up with a similar device attached to the motorcycle body.

These inventions are intended to convince the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to change their stance on the prohibition of backriding on motorcycles. The public has clamored to allow passengers on motorcycles to ease transportation woes caused by social distancing rules that have limited public transportation capacity.

Experts, however, have noted that the device may still pose some dangers.

When asked for their comment regarding these devices, the Department of Transportation said in addition to the IATF-EID’s orders, legislation also prohibits motorcycle taxis from operating again.

“The pilot study (trial period) of motorcycle taxis had already expired last April. We already submitted our recommendations to the HOR and are awaiting their action if they will be allowed to continue operations. So, technically, there is nothing to resume in the meantime, unless a new law is passed legalizing their operations as a public transport mode.”