The deadline for the installation of motorcycle back-riding protective barriers was moved to July 26, a one-week extension from the original July 19 target.
GMA News reported that the Joint Task Force COVID (JTF CV) Shield (the national task force against COVID-19) accommodated motorists' request for an extension "after consulting the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, the Philippine National Police, and George Royeca who designed the Angkas-made barrier."
There are two approved versions of the protective barrier meant to prevent the spread of coronavirus between the motorcycle driver and passenger. On July 8, presidential spokesman Harry Roque announced that the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases approved the design of a protective shield submitted by Bohol Governor Arthur Yap, and just this week, Angkas announced that its prototype was also given the go signal by the IATF. Both the Bohol and Angkas design specifications will be shared with the public.
According to Governor Yap, the cost of installing the barrier is at least P700 in Bohol. The Angkas design, on the other hand, costs around P200-P250 to produce.
TopGear Philippines reported that the Angkas protective barrier is "made of hard, durable plastic that is lightweight and a bit flexible. The shield frame features shoulder straps and a quick-release belt, plus two handles for the passenger to hold on to. The passenger will also have a good view of the surroundings via the available windows."
The return of motorcycle back-riding is a much-awaited announcement, as millions of commuters have been affected by limitations in public transportation during the pandemic. Currently, only married couples and live-in partners who present either a marriage certificate or proof of the same address can ride in tandem.
"Like wearing of face masks, these motorcycle barriers will be part of the minimum health safety protocols that will be strictly implemented, unless the vaccine for COVID-19 is discovered and is made available to the public,” said JTF CV Shield commander Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar.