Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo acknowledged that the National Inter-Agency Task Force COVID-19 have duly noted and acted on the appeals of the Local Government Units to reconsider the policy of using barrier/shields for motorcycle backriders.
It can be recalled that Mayor Remollo earlier sent a letter to the National IATF seeking for the reconsideration in the mandatory use of barriers/shields for motorcycle backriders on the account that there is no convincing proof that such policy can prevent the transmission of coronavirus.
Mayor Remollo also raised the issue of safety as the approved prototype barrier is a modification on the motorcycle which affects the aero-dynamism of motorcycles.
Mayor Remollo underscored the fact that almost every household in the city has at least one motorcycle as the basic means of transportation, yet the few COVID cases here are mostly caused by APORs or LSIs who did not follow or bypassed the local health protocols.
Previously, the National IATF mandated that all motorcycle backriders must be a spouse or live-in partner of the driver and should be using barrier or shields placed between them.
But in its latest advisory, the National IATF said that it is now up to the Local Chief Executives, like the mayors, whether to enforce or implement the policy according to the needs of their local situations.
“The National IATF may have realized that the situation in Dumaguete City is not the same as in Metro Manila or Cebu,” Mayor Remollo said.
At least in Dumaguete City, people can now enjoy outdoor exercises and activities or scaled down social gatherings compared to those in Manila and Cebu.
Finally, Mayor Remollo urged the public to continue to observe the universal health protocols in preventing COVID-19 transmission by constantly wearing face masks and/or face shields and frequent hand washing or use of disinfectant.