Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Monday announced that the "special suit" or "backpack-type" design proposed by ride-hailing firm Angkas for back-riding in motorcycles has already been approved.
"Effective immediately, the above barriers between motorcycle driver and passengers are hereby approved," Lorenzana said in a message to reporters as he also showed the design of Angkas.
In his Monday press briefing, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said the NTF approved the design proposed by motorcycle taxi firm Angkas and that this can be used immediately.
Senator Christopher Lawrence Go, chairman of the Senate health and demography committee had earlier urged concerned agencies to consult riders and motorcycle safety experts so they could also assist in determining the measures that should be required by the government for backriding, such as the installation of makeshift shields on motorcycle units.
He expressed his support for the Inter-Agency Task Force’s decision to allow backriding on motorcycles specifically for married couples, especially since public transportation is still limited in many areas in the country.
The proposed “backpack” design has dividers and handles between the riders and passengers to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
This is the second shield approved by the NTF. The first was the prototype designed by Bohol Governor Arthur Yap. Yap’s design requires the shield to be installed on the motorcycle.
Although Angkas’ proposed design has been approved for general use, Angkas itself is unable to use it as it is still not allowed to operate during the quarantine, considering that motorcycle taxis have no existing franchise.