WHAT'S wrong with the rules on motorcycle back-riding, as laid down by Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año and implemented by the Transportation Office in Cebu and elsewhere in the country:
 REQUIREMENT ON ID CARDS. Proof of living together is not certified to by any identification card.
Certificate of marriage, yes, but it does not necessarily prove the husband and wife are living under the same roof. But, OK, let the marriage certificate and its presumption suffice.
But is there an ID card that says A and B are living together, or are common law husband and wife or girlfriend and boyfriend (who need not be living together)? Maybe a Twitter or Facebook post of photo or video showing the couple coupling or otherwise acting intimately.
How about an affidavit of a disinterested person declaring that the couple are shacking up or otherwise amorously related? That may serve as substitute to an ID attesting to intimacy between rider and back-rider. That, or requiring them to kiss or make out before the suspicious law enforcer, which would be offensive.
 REQUIREMENT ON BARRIER/SHIELD. The barrier or shield looks redundant since the rider and back rider are assumed to be intimate with each other. It becomes silly, even absurd with the requirement of ID card on relationship. Must they observe the distancing between themselves now and here on a bike even though most of the time they've been close physically to each other?
Lessening the chance of infection wouldn't matter on a motorcycle as they are presumably infecting each other at home and elsewhere. Would the couple's behavior on the bike affect the health of other people on the streets?
Unlike the man and his girl -- who in Neruda's love poem would "have to raise their climax,/ full tilt,/ on a bicycle" -- most bikers don't publicly display affection. But if that ever happens, police can detain them, for indecent public behavior, not violation of quarantine rule.
What 'OK' streamers tell
"Natarantar," former Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña said Tuesday, July 21, about City Hall response to tarpaulin streamers being hung on strategic public places in several barangays. The city's Probe team said they removed the steamers urging obedience to quarantine rules because they were not covered by any permit.
Tomas didn't tackle that problem and instead harped on Mayor Labella "panicking" and being afraid of the "OK" or "Osmeña Kami."
Three things: (1) BOPK chief Tomas in effect admitted the streamers and the naughty political content were his idea; (2) complained when the streamers were removed but hadn't bothered to follow ordinance and law on permits for street propaganda; as former mayor and a veteran politician, he should know the rules.
As to the vaunted Osmeña "magic," the reminder, as early as last year's election, was that "OK" may no longer be OK. Three giant Osmeña politicians lost in the 2019 race: Tomas, his brother Serge and his cousin Sonny. "Mga Osmeña na sila."
The "OK-OKs" are coming out of the woodwork, says SunStar columnist Bong Wenceslao in a Facebook post. Just a few of them but the emergence of the top honcho makes the difference. Tomas is in effect saying they want to make Labella's life as mayor miserable, pandemic or none, and they can't start the 2022 campaign early enough.
Did it cause any panic among Barug leaders, as the BOPK chief claims? Probably not, if Tomas considers that City Hall was able to name the right person to give the order. "Probe" chief Raquel Arce tagged her chief, City Administrator Floro Casas Jr., not MCWD board chairman Jose Daluz III who doesn't have authority over her office. They didn't lose their cool.
Barug still has two-thirds of its term to show it could give the Osmeñas a tough fight. What could influence the 2022 elections results more is the performance of the party in the time of pandemic.
Being in command of City Hall during this emergency, the Labella-Rama team could rise or fall on the issue of competence and empathy in fighting coronavirus, not so much on which political name gets more votes in Cebu.
What the opposition is doing, as the "OK" streamers project seems to expose the BOPK agenda, is to help make the people think Labella is doing badly.