Could this PPE for riders soften the government’s stand on the motorcycle-taxi ban?

Ride-hailing motorcycle companies are not about to throw in the towel
by Aris Ilagan | Jul 3, 2020
PHOTO: Citimuber Philippines

The beleaguered motorcycle-taxi companies are not ready to give up despite the government’s continuing ban on their operations under general community quarantine.

Knowing there are thousands of motorcycle-taxi riders who’ve now been deprived of their livelihood, Citimuber has come up with a new design of personal protective equipment (PPE) and rider shield, hoping to convince the authorities that it’s ready and able to comply with the strict health protocols being implemented in the transport sector.

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To refresh your memory, we wrote an article on Citimuber in February. At the time, it expressed its intention to join the extended motorcycle-taxi pilot run.

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Only three ride-hailing motorcycle companies—Angkas, JoyRide, and Move It—had then been authorized to join the test scheme, which was then abruptly interrupted by the government-imposed lockdown that started on March 13. When the quarantine was declared, Citimuber had some 10,000 riders who had already completed extensive road-safety training at its 1,600sqm facility in Caloocan City.

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Recently, the company posted photos of its PPE and passenger-shield design on social media. “Please research din natin ang gamit ng ibang bansa gaya ng Malaysia at Indonesia na matagal [nang] tumatakbo ang kanilang MC Taxi. Tayo na lang ang hindi nakakatakbo. Marami [na] kasing gutom na MC Taxi Riders,” it said.

We tried to contact Citimuber to determine the materials used in the PPE and the protective shield, but to no avail. Not so long ago, Angkas and JoyRide submitted their own passenger-shield designs to the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

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Albert Suansing, DOTr senior consultant on public transportation, had said that aside from having passenger shields, riders should also wear PPE as added protection against the coronavirus. Since then, nothing has been heard from the government’s side.

Isa lang po ito sa apat naming suggestions sa ating mahal na DOTr, LTO (Land Transportation Office), IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases), [and] LTFRB (Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board) para sana makatakbo ang ating mga kapwa rider ng motorcycle taxi,” Citimuber wrote on Facebook. “We have four suggestions. We will send our proposal letter soon. Pray po tayong na i-approve ni kagalang galang na [DOTr secretary] Arthur Tugade.”

Do you think this PPE and protective shield designed by Citimuber will get the government’s approval?

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PHOTO: Citimuber Philippines
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