Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr has designed a motorcycle that he believes can safely accommodate a backrider while addressing the health concerns of the government’s coronavirus task force.
The Iloilo Public Information Office (PIO) said in a press statement that Defensor designed a motorcycle that removes physical contact between the driver and passenger after the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) banned backriding on motorcycles during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Iloilo government said the governor submitted his proposal to Land Transportation Office Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante through LTO regional director Eric Lenard Tabaldo later afternoon of Friday, June 5.
The IATF had banned backriders on motorcycles upon the recommendation of the LTO.
The main feature of Defensor’s design is a divider made of non-porous and transparent material between the driver and the backrider.
“Governor Defensor personally commissioned a builder in Iloilo City to implement his idea, using the motorcycle of his staff,” the Iloilo government said.
A handle bar is installed on the divider’s frame for the backrider to hold on to during the ride.
The governor said both driver and passenger would be required to wear crash helmets, facemasks, and gloves; and observe proper disinfection before and after the trip.
The Iloilo government said Defensor submitted his proposal to the LTO due to public clamor not only from residents but also among municipal mayors to allow backriding on motorcycles, especially as these are the primary mode of transportation in the towns.
The League of the Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) Iloilo Chapter earlier passed a resolution urging the IATF and LTO to allow backriding on motorcycles.
Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia earlier tried to allow backrding on motorcyles in her province but withdrew her order after President Rodrigo Duterte himself said he would not allow it.
In his letter to Galvante, Defensor also asked the LTO to consider allowing 3 passengers for tricycles – one passenger at the front seat, one at the back seat, and one backrider – by shielding the areas with dividers.
Under the IATF guidelines, only one passenger is allowed per tricycle. – Rappler.com