Of barriers and face shields

Transport authorities have continuously been looking for ways to make public transport safer and more accessible with the Covid-19 virus seemingly lurking everywhere.

Since the start of various community quarantine phases, balancing the need to provide transport to medical frontliners and workers in essential or allowed services and stopping the spread of Covid-19 infection has been a major headache for the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) and the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19.

When IATF and NTF began easing quarantine restrictions and more and more types of public transport modes were allowed to resume operations, Covid-19 cases began to rise again. 

Authorities traced most infections to have occurred in public transportation. This makes making public transport even safer more important. 

Even as Metro Manila and nearby provinces were placed back under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) restrictions with all public transport suspended, authorities are back to finding more solutions to make public transport safer against possible infection.

One solution unveiled was mandatory wearing of face shields on public transport in addition to wearing of masks. This will begin on August 15.

In a press statement, DOTr Undersecretary for Administrative Affairs Artemio Tuazon said: “Ipatutupad po natin ang mandatong ito sa lahat ng pampublikong sasakyan tulad ng sa mga tren, bus, jeepney, taxi, passengers vessels at maging sa eroplano. I will not elaborate more on the practical benefits the face shield offers, but we know that the use of face coverings and masks for superior protection is adopted widely.”

Another solution to more safe public transport modes has not yet been unveiled, although some see signs of it coming. 

 One sign is the IATF and NTF agreeing to allow tandem riding by people who are unrelated when going to work in essential trades or services, as long of course they use approved shields or barriers between them.

Earlier, only married couples or live-in partners were allowed to ride tandem.

Another sign is authorities agreeing to allow Angkas riders to provide free rides to healthcare workers.

Angkas, the pioneer motorcycle ride-hailing app, deployed 1,000 of its riders to 10 hospitals named by authorities to service front-liners needing rides to go home. The free service was to be available until August 18, when the MECQ period in Metro Manila ends.

Angkas also donated to 1,000 health care workers who own motorcycles its IATF-approved barriers for use in tandem riding.

Some observers say that if the IATF deemed it safe enough under MECQ to allow Angkas riders to provide free rides to healthcare workers, it is not unreasonable to believe that motorcycle taxis may be safe enough to resume operations soon.

Toyota numbers

Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) is celebrating 32 years of  operations in the Philippines.

In a message to TMP team members, TMP chairman Alfred V. Ty said: “In our over 30-year history, we have faced many challenges but this is by far the most challenging we have seen.  Of one thing I am sure: this will be our finest moment. We will draw on our collective strength to support government in its recovery efforts and we will assure our customers and each one in our Toyota family that we will stand by each other every step of the way.”

Over 30 years and until today Toyota has generated numbers that should make others envious or better yet aspire to emulate or even surpass.

These include:

• 1.78 million: Toyota cars TMP placed on Philippine road

• 78: Number of models and variants in local vehicle lineup

• 55,000: Filipinos employed in entire supply chain

• P1 billion: Value of Philippine-made local parts exported

• 880,000: Number of Toyota vehicles locally assembled

• P384 billion: Cumulative total of tax and duties paid to government

• 30: Vios units donated to Department of Health and Sta. Rosa city government during pandemic

Nissan 370Z arrives

Nissan is making the 370Z sports car available locally. It comes in two variants: Premium and Nismo.

The Nissan 370Z is powered by a 3.7-liter DOHC V6 engine that can generate 332hp and 363Nm of torque. The engine is paired to either a 6-speed manual transmission or a 7-speed automatic transmission.

It comes with sport-tuned shock absorbers, Nissan sport brakes, limited slip differential, and a Carbon Fiber Composite Driveshaft.

The 370Z Nismo features performance and design kits produced by Nismo, Nissan’s in-house tuning, motorsports and performance division.

“Indisputably, the Nissan 370Z is one of the most beloved vehicles for enthusiasts in the world, and now it’s here,” said Atsushi Najima, Nissan Philippines president and managing director.

 “The Nissan 370Z provides a truly authentic Japanese sports car experience to our customers. We cannot wait for our Filipinos to enjoy ultimate rush driving experience as we enter the new normal,” he added.

3rd Isuzu IOS dealership

The Covid-19 pandemic has not stopped Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) from continuing to expand its network of dealerships in the country.

The 43rd dealership in Isuzu’s network, Isuzu Pagadian has opened its doors to the public. It is the third dealership that meets the Isuzu Outlet Standardization criteria.

Isuzu Pagadian is owned and operated by the North-Min Automotive Dealership Inc (NMADI).

Said IPC president Hajime Koso: “The addition of a new Isuzu dealership in our rapidly expanding network is a strong testament to the growing preference for the Isuzu brand as we continue to widen our reach to our customers in Region 9. This is another major milestone that we share with our new dealer partner North-Min Automotive Dealership Inc, and we look forward to serving our customers in this area with the Isuzu Pagadian.”

Happy Motoring!!!

For comments & inquiries email [email protected] or visit www.motoringtoday.ph.

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