MOTORCYCLE riders living in the same household are no longer required to install barriers.
Barriers with approved designs are still required, however, if the riders don’t belong to the same household.
In this case, pillion riding is allowed only if the passenger is an authorized person outside residence (Apor), and if the motorcycle is privately owned and is not for hire.
This was among the transition protocols approved by the National Task Force Against Covid-19 (NTF) in a meeting held Tuesday night, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020.
Joint Task Force Covid Shield commander Guillermo Eleazar said both driver and passenger must also wear face masks and full-face helmets at all times.
This revised protocol on pillion riding is applicable in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) beginning August 19, 2020 and may also be applied in areas under modified GCQ.
“Local chief executives (in areas under MGCQ) have the discretion to adapt and/or implement the above guidelines according to the needs of their local situation,” said Eleazar.
In a statement, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said those living in the same household should present identification cards (IDs) with the same address to police officers manning quarantine control points or conducting random checks.
Backriders who are Apor must also present their company ID, certificate of employment or other similar documents.
Apor are individuals who are in government or employees in industries permitted to operate.
Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board Central Visayas Director Eduardo Montealto, in a separate interview, said live-in partners who do not have the same address in their IDs may get a certification from their barangay.
In Cebu City, however, riders belonging to the same household are advised to continue using barriers. Those without barriers will still be penalized with a P1,000 fine.
As of 2 p.m. of Aug. 19, Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) head Alma Casimero said her office has yet to receive a memorandum from the Office of the Mayor on this new protocol.
“Sa atong mga motorists nga wa na naggamit og barrier, ipahibalo lang nato nila nga wa pa mi advice nga dili na sila maggamit og barrier,” said Casimero.
Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella said he will issue a directive once he receives an official document from the national government.
In Talisay City, Mayor Gerald Anthony Gullas Jr. welcomed the development, but urged his constituents to continue following safety protocols when backriding.
“Despite this, giawhag gihapon nako tanan Talisaynon nga mag-amping gihapon ug padayon gihapon ta musunod sa mga quarantine protocols ilabi na ang pagsul-ob ug face masks,” Gullas said.
For his part, Land Transportation Office Central Visayas Director Victor Caindec said LTO personnel will continue to encourage motorcycle riders to wear face masks and commuters using public transport to wear face shields.
He said they will also continue with their mandate of ensuring the roadworthiness of vehicles for the safety of everyone. (SunStar Philippines, WBS, JJL, JKV)