Cebu mayors ask DOTr to reconsider decision prohibiting backriders

THE local chief executives of the cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu and Talisay have asked Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade to reconsider the agency’s decision to no longer allow backriders on motorcycles.

Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella and Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan said in separate interviews on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, that they wrote Tugade asking him to exempt the immediate family members of private motorcycle drivers from the order.

Sharing the sentiment of the two mayors, Talisay City Mayor Gerald Anthony Gullas Jr. said he understood the concern of his constituents whose main mode of transportation is either driving or riding motorcycles.

For his part, Labella said it would be convenient for his constituents to ride motorcycles driven by their relatives.

“Many households and families in our city rely on motorcycles as a means of transportation to and from work and to easily visit establishments where they can get their essentials, like supermarkets, pharmacies or wet markets,” read a portion of Labella’s letter.

The DOTr is implementing social distancing in all vehicles to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Chan said allowing the wife or any family member to backride on the motorcycle is one way of protecting a household from Covid-19 as they could be infected with the virus if they ride a public utility vehicle instead. (JJL, GCM & JCT)