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Davao City, Philippines

CDO dad seeks court injunction vs. motorcycle barrier

August 08, 2020 - Saturday 9:08 PM by PNA

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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – A city councilor here has asked the court for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the government policy requiring the installation of a protective barrier on motorcycles.

City Councilor Reuben Daba was joined by former Barangay 16 council member Walter Kiunisala Friday in filing the TRO, arguing that the barrier poses risks, aside from being impractical.

In their seven-page petition filed before the Regional Trial Court Branch 41, the plaintiffs argued the protective barrier was also disadvantageous to residents who rely on motorcycles for transportation and livelihood.

“Motorcycle experts have already pointed out that not only is it unsafe and untested, it is also an unnecessary cost to the driver and rider,” the petitioners said.

They described the regulation-- crafted by the national Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) -- as “anti-poor for it would be an added expense to the household as far as daily commute is concerned plus having to shell out another expense to put up the barrier in compliance with the policy.”

The IATF-EID has maintained that the policy, which took effect on August 1, was meant to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease.

However, Daba and Kiunisala argued that safety cannot be used as a basis for the policy, noting the IATF’s decision to allow jeepneys and other public utility vehicles to take in multiple passengers.

“There is also the issue of re-circulated air in air-conditioned public transport vehicles. While that of a motorcycle, there is only the spouse or partner that the driver comes into contact or interact with during the ride,” they added.

The petitioners argued that installing a barrier between the rider and pillion is not necessary since the family members live in the same household.

“There is actually no need to install it as couples are regularly exposed to each other anyway,” they pointed out.

Lawyer James Judith, the petitioners’ legal counsel, has called on other groups and individuals to take the same action in their respective areas.

“This is just the beginning. We hope others will follow suit. We started this to show that we can do something,” Judith told the Philippine News Agency. (PNA)