DILG’s barrier requirement for motorcycle backriding results in accidents

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) recently allowed riding pillion after almost four months, but the new backriding requirements have resulted in accidents.

As the Philippine government gradually eases lockdown restrictions, the DILG mandated regular motorcycle riders and their pillion who live in the same household to put barriers as a precautionary measure against COVID-19 transmission.

The Motorcycle Rights Organization (MRO) has received photos of six motorcycle-related accidents forwarded to them linked to DILG’s directive.

A rider by the name of Dla Cruz narrated on social media their accident in Cubao, Quezon City, pointing out that it was a costly expense that has been wasted as the barriers are dangerous and unusable. “Yung barrier na basagbasag hindi po sya safe. Please lang wag na po sana mag barrier,” he said.

“Again, bumili ako dahil sumusunod kami sa gusto nyo pero sana makarating ito sa inyo hindi po kami mamamatay sa semplang pero yung mga basag na piraso na muntik ng sumaksak samin pareho ang ikakamatay namin kung sakali,” the rider added.

Another incident involved a couple riding along the Shaw Boulevard flyover. According to eyewitness accounts, a sudden gust of wind blew. The shield acted like a sail, caught the wind, and threw the riders off their balance. The rider lost control of the motorcycle as a result.

MRO urged the government to hear the opinion of experts and professionals in the motorcycle industry before enacting protocols that would affect the lives of motorcycle riders. Experts in the field of motorcycle safety have already pointed out that the shield is both unsafe and an unnecessary expense.

Moreover, fabricators who are familiar with the material also pointed out acrylic glass’ brittle nature, as it may shatter and impale the rider and his pillion in the event of a crash.

Duterte orders DSWD, DILG to assist public transport drivers who did not receive cash aid

President Rodrigo Duterte has directed government agencies to address the concerns of public transport drivers who did not receive financial support amid the COVID-19 crisis.

In line with this, Duterte announced in his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) the Pantawid Pasada Program which will provide financial assistance to public utility vehicle drivers.

“There are complaints that some drivers did not receive any assistance at all. I have directed the DSWD and the DILG to look into this,” the president said.

During the lockdown period from March to June, the operations of jeepneys and buses were halted to prevent the further spreading of COVID-19. Some of the drivers were forced to beg for money on the streets to provide for their families due to their lack of source of income.

The jeepney operations resumed earlier in the month of July.

 

PhilHealth chief must resign if proven guilty — Lacson

If proven guilty, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) President and CEO Ricardo Morales should resign from his post, according to Senator Panfilo Lacson. “Unless he can credibly refute the allegations, which are supported by documents, he has no choice but to resign. So far, at face value, I’d say the allegations are true because they are supported by documents,” Lacson added.

Senate’s investigation will cover the anomalous implementation of the interim reimbursement mechanism (IRM) of PhilHealth; questionable budget insertions for the purchase of an ICT equipment worth P734 million; and the supposed manipulation of the agency’s financial statements.

Based on documents obtained, Lacson said PhilHealth allegedly released a total of P247 million to three hospitals in the Bicol region and another P196 million to two hospitals in Eastern Visayas, all tertiary level hospitals. The budget release happened only weeks after the hospitals applied through IRM and despite they had only one COVID-19 patient.

Duterte reiterates his plea for COVID-19 vaccine to Xi Jinping at SONA

In his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Rodrigo Duterte shared his recent conversation with Chinese leader President Xi Jinping, reiterating his request to prioritize the Philippines once China develops a vaccine for COVID-19.

“Let me just mention it in passing that about four days ago, I made a plea to President Xi Jinping that if they have the vaccine, can they allow us to be one of the first, or if it’s needed, if we have to buy it, that we will be granted credit so that we can normalize as fast as possible,” said Duterte.

Duterte, however, did not mention Xi’s response. A day before SONA, the Department of Health (DOH) reported that the number of COVID-19 cases in the country surpassed the 80,000th mark. The president continued his speech, praising the health professionals, urging Congress to pass the Advanced Nursing Education Act, and mentioning the creation of the National Disease Prevention Management Authority in response to future outbreaks.