During the past few weeks, MotoPinas.com has published a number of stories that tackle the issue of the government’s required backrider shield (or barrier) required in between the pillion and rider. Being motorcycle riders ourselves, we are one with the manufacturers, motorcycle safety riding experts, engineers and the motorcycle riding community in condemning the required shield.
Since the government specifically allowed pillion riding only to couples who live in the same household and share the same bed at night, common sense would dictate that the backrider shield is completely unnecessary, and the money that is used to buy the shield could be spent on better and more important things, especially now during the pandemic.
Now that the government has decided to switch back to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) for the Greater Metro Manila Area, public transport has been limited to health care workers only and as a consolation, these brave men and women were allowed to be shuttled with the use of motorcycles even if they are not the better half of the driver. Of course, this is only allowed with certain conditions that includes having the backrider shield/ barrier in between them.
Pasig City mayor, Vico Sotto, has turned to social media to express that he is also one with the riders and their plight, but says that for now, all we can do is follow the IATF guidelines, because there is no other choice.
“Sa totoo lang, delikado siya. Pero sa ngayon, wala tayong choice kung gusto nating umangkas, kailangan daw ‘to [sabi ng gobyerno] (It is true that this shield is dangerous. But for now, we have no other choice if we want to carry pillions as this is required by the government),” said mayor Sotto.
At the moment, the government stands firm on its ground that the required barrier shield is completely safe, and insisted through JTF COVID Shield commander, Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, that “these two approved designs — the Bohol prototype, and the Angkas design — underwent a thorough study which includes the concept of aerodynamics and were also tested for quality safety standards.”
For now and to avoid penalty that could be as much as PhP10,000.00, the government suggests installing the required shield for those who will be ferrying their spouses or healthcare workers.