The leadership of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has announced that pillion riding or backriding will be allowed again starting tomorrow, July 10, but there's a catch.
Local government Secretary Eduardo Año confirmed that the move will only be permitted for couples and live-in partners.
Aside from that, riders are required to wear protective shields between them, in compliance with the guidelines set by the Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).
“Simula bukas, July 10, ay papayagan na natin ang backriding ngunit sa couples lang muna. Alam naman natin ang sitwasyon ngayon, tumataas ang bilang ng mga positive cases. At least ang couple ay nakatira sa iisang bahay lang ‘yan,” he said.
While backriding will be allowed, Año reminded the public to still follow the protocols set by the IATF, which includes the installation of protective barriers between the motorcycle riders and the wearing of face masks.
Further, Año said that backriders must have proper documents to be presented at Quarantine Control Points or to law enforcers as proof that they are a couple.
Married couples must have the same last name and common-law partners, must share the same address, the DILG chief said, adding that copies of their marriage certificate and present IDs must be presented when asked by law enforcers.
“Ang couple is living in the same household, either they are married, or common-law husband and wife, or boyfriend or girlfriend,” he said. “Sa ID ay dapat magkapareho ng apelyido at kapag naman common-law husband and wife ay kailangang the same address sa ID. There are so many ways to prove naman that indeed they are a couple,” Año said.
He said that a prototype design submitted by Bohol Governor Arthur Yap was adopted by the National Task Force for COVID-19 and shall be adhered to. “Yung prototype model na sinubmit ni Gov. Arthur Yap, approved na ‘yan ng NTF at ito yung pinaka-prototype na gagamitin natin.”
Back in mid-June, Yap proposed the installation of a protective barrier between the passengers of a motorcycle to allow backriding without compromising health and safety.
“Maganda ito sapagkat protektado ang passenger,” he said. “May handle sa side nung barrier at lalagpas sa ulo niya ‘yung barrier para sigurado na walang laway na tatalsik and at the same time, kailangang magsuot ng mask at naka-helmet ‘yung rider at passenger,” he explained.
Further, Año said that despite the measures placed, riders must still be cautious. “Kailangan dito ay dobleng pag-iingat sa pagdadrive, dapat ay sumunod tayo sa speed limit,” he said. “Noon nga nagkakaroon ng disgrasya kahit wala pang barrier, kaya mas lalo tayong dapat mag-ingat ngayon.”
He stressed that violators will be punished in accordance with applicable rules and regulations. “Kapag hindi sila sumunod ay mapaparusahan sila. Maraming kaukulang kaso na puwedeng isampa sa kanila.”
For his part, DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya, reminded all police officers that they should be the first in following this new rule of the government.
“When the public sees the law enforcers backriding and yet utilizing motorcycles without protective barriers, we lose our credibility. So, we wish to remind all men and women of the PNP who are couples to be the first in installing these barriers in their motorcycles as a good example to the public,” he said.
“Now more than ever, we should lead by example,” he added.
Photo from Department of Interior and Local Government