By ALI G. MACABALANG
Chief of Correspondents
DAVAO CITY – The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) has asked the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Covid-19 to defer the policy requiring barriers for people riding in tandem on a motorcycle.
In a statement on Saturday, Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said he has received hundreds of appeals from poor families in Mindanao who depend on motorcycles for livelihood.
Piñol said the “motorcycle barrier policy” has only added undue financial burden and will affect efforts to restart the economy in Mindanao, especially in rural areas of the country where the motorcycle is the main vehicle for transport and livelihood.
Based on the gathered feedback by MinDA, Piñol said the public voiced out three primary reasons for asking reconsideration on the controversial policy.
First, the policy seems impractical because the barrier poses danger to the riders during strong gusts of wind caused by huge vehicles coming from the opposite direction, which could throw the motorcycle off-balance and may lead to accidents.
Earlier, mechanical engineers said the presence barrier adversely affects the aerodynamics of the motorcycle and may lead to accident.
Second reason, the MinDA chief said, the public viewed the barrier to be “expensive” and “oppressive.”
Piñol said the excessive fines on violators of the policy could open a new window for corruption,” he added.
Third, Piñol said many viewed the policy to be discriminatory because the concern on the possible transmission of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) between two people traveling together is only focused on motorcycle riding but ignores those traveling inside air-conditioned private cars face greater risks.
“We support the IATF’s effort to control the spread of the virus but surely, there are other ways of doing it other than implementing measures that would make life more difficult for our people,” the MinDA chief added. (AGM)