The Philippines' pandemic response task force will review a group of engineers’ opposition to the installation of protective dividers for backriding on motorcycles, its co-chairman said Friday.
Only 2 designs for the protective dividers have been approved. The first one designed by the Bohol provincial government is attached to the motorcycle itself, while the second one from ride-hailing app Angkas sports backpack-style straps, which the motorcycle driver puts on.
“Magbibigay sila ng advice sa IATF. Pag-uusapan namin iyon sa IATF (They will give advice to the IATF. We will talk about it at the IATF),” Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said.
Though meant to lessen contact between driver and rider, the Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers said adding a barrier between two passengers ould affect a motorcycle’s aerodynamic design and safety. Having a shield while riding a motorcycle could potentially be dangerous.
"The front side of the barrier builds up pressure while creating turbulence and suction behind the barrier. This will not guarantee that the barrier will be effective in protecting both riders from the spread of air particles," the group said.
Officials earlier allowed motorcycle backriding for married couples or live-in partners. Essential workers in modified enhanced community quarantine areas were also permitted to backride.
Nograles said it was up to President Rodrigo Duterte to decide whether the barriers will be required or not.