What we were wishing for is now here! Government authorities have retracted their policy of requiring motorcycle barriers for riders, finally recognizing the flaw of the policy.
As per the memorandum, barriers will not be required anymore for people, such as couples and family members who live in the same roof to heed by the requirement. Joint Task Force Covid Shield commander, Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar addressed the announcement to the public after the National Task Force (NTF) on the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) approved the transition protocol on motorcycle back riding that would be implemented on August 19.
However, Eleazar reiterated that proof must be shown as to validate that both riders live in the same house. Also, that the policy of motorcycle barriers must still be followed by riders who do not live under the same roof.
Both riders must still abide by the health protocols and must wear face masks and full-face helmets in the whole duration of the ride in place of motorcycle barriers not being required anymore.
But they have to show proof, either identification card, certification from the barangay, or any document showing that both the rider and the back rider have the same address to avoid being apprehended and cited for violation of the rules on pillion riding.”
New Guidelines on Motorcycle Pillion Riding
Eleazer has likewise stated that Philippine National Police (PNP), through Director for Operations Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Luis Licup, had already released the guidelines to all police commanders regarding the implementation of new rules on motorcycle pillion riding. Under the newly released guideline, the back rider must be included in the list of Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR) while the driver may not be.
The motorcycles that would be used must also not be for hire but privately owned. But in areas already under the modified GCQ, Local Government Units (LGUs) have the sole authority to implement the guidelines as they see fit.
Furthermore, Eleazar also made a claim about their efforts upon trying to gradually normalize motorcycle pillion riding as to avoid any abuses — especially now that motorcycle barriers are no longer required.
As what Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Eduardo Año repeatedly said in the past, we will try to normalize the motorcycle pillion riding but this should be done gradually to prevent abuses by some hard-headed riders.”
Based on data from JTF Covid Shield, a total of 57,973 motorcycle riders were warned and cited for violation of the rules on pillion riding since motorcycle back riding was allowed from July 10 until August 18.
Aside from Metro Manila and the provinces of Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, and Bulacan, Eleazer stressed that the same rules on motorcycle pillion riding would be implemented in other areas under GCQ. Among these areas are the regions ofL
- Nueva Ecija;
- Iloilo City;
- Cebu City;
- Lapu-Lapu City;
- Mandaue City;
- Talisay City; and
- The municipalities of Minglanilla and Consolacion in Cebu province
Prescription and Compensation
Eleazar noted that those who may have already purchased the motorcycle barriers, following the announcement of motorcycle barriers being no longer required, may still choose to use them even if they back ride with their spouses, partners, and other family members who live in the same house. Even if motorcycle barriers are not required anymore, their usage would still be advised.
Although it is no longer required, the use of the prescribed barrier is still advised because what we are preventing here is mass infection within the family. Once one family member is infected, it is usually certain that the rest of the family members would suffer. So we advise motorcycle riders to still take precautionary measures.”
What About Those Who Already Bought It?
AKO Bicol party-list Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr. raised his concern upon the motorcycle barriers that riders may have already bought and called for the government to acquire the said barriers so that the money spent could be compensated and recovered.
Now, what do we do with all those motorcycle barriers which cost hundreds or up to thousands of pesos depending on the design?”
The lawmaker hence made the suggestion that the government could compensate the money by deducting the amount of the barrier from some fees; fees that may include vehicle registration, driver’s license application or fines for traffic violation or that an alternative could be is to provide the riders with equivalent amount of grocery items under the Diskuwento caravan of the Department of Trade and Industry.
What do you think of motorcycle barriers no longer being required? Do you agree with the retraction of the policy or not? Is it really safe for motorcycles to be used even if there are no barriers for it?
Source: Manila Bulletin News