Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo M. Año confirmed today that back-riding in motorcycles will now be allowed but for couples and live-in partners starting tomorrow, July 10, 2020 utilizing motorcycles with protective shields between both riders 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 back-riding 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.
Año said that despite allowing back rides for couples, the public must still be cognizant of the proper protocols set by the IATF which includes the installation of protective barriers in the motorcycle. He also said that the policies on wearing face masks in public will also be strictly implemented by authorities.
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.”
It can be recalled that in mid-June, Yap proposed the installation of a protective barrier between the passengers of a motorcycle to allow back-riding 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.
The DILG Chief reminded the public though that as the design of the motorcycle is modified, riders must 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.”
Año said that back-riders will be asked to present documents at Quarantine Control Points or to law enforcers as proof that they are indeed a couple. He said that a married couple has the same last name and for common-law partners, they must share the same address.
He said that they should bring copies of their marriage certificate and present IDs if 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.”
He further said 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.
DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya, for his part, 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.