With the spark of the changing of quarantine situations in various parts of the country heating up, many people start to question some of the things happening within the “new normal.” In connection to that situation, several people have been projecting violent reactions in terms of the prohibition of back-riding in motorcycles.
Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla and Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas are among the local officials to petition and appeal to the national Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Diseases (IATF-EID) to allow and consider family members under same roof to motorcycle back-riding policy in the country under the General Community Quaratine (GCQ).
To allow back-riding on motorcycles
In an open letter that the Governor shared on his Facebook page, Remulla stated that he is persistently persuading the task force to allow motorcycle-riding for couples, as well as family members who live together — under the same roof.
Several loopholes were found including whether or not the duo really live together. To resolve that, Remulla said that one guarantee that would prove that the couples share the same house, was for these types of riders to be issued a “couple’s pass.” This was given as a suggestion by the Cavite provincial government.
Mayor Treñas, on the other hand, declared the same appeal to the IATF-EID 19 through his Executive Order (EO) No. 75. This order will aim to lift the entire the city’s position from Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) to GCQ, allowing one driver and a back rider on motorcycles as long as they were family members; or so long as they live under the same roof.
The EO’s provision though, when compared with the Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2020-2185, issued by Land Transportation Office (LTO) Chief and Department of Transportation (DOTr) Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante on May 12,was the opposite of both petitions of the local government leaders.
Apparently, this memorandum provides several guidelines for the land transport operations. A guideline under Section 5 of the MC states that “a motorcycle can have one rider, which is the motorcycle driver himself.”
This particularly is the reason why the LTO have been working to stop the back-riding on motorcycles even before the appeal made by the government leaders.
Back-riding on motorcycles is strictly prohibited by the government because (1) it is a clear violation of physical distancing; physical distancing which has been our practice since the very first (1st) day of the ECQ to help fight the spread of the infamous COVID-19.
The Iloilo Mayor was positive on the thought that instead of just the wife or husband riding the other, immediate family members as well as companions living under the same roof could also be allowed to be ferry passengers.
Pillion riding or passenger seating could cause commuting from one place to another more comfortable; especially in the meantime — to think that public utility vehicles has not yet been functioning normally in areas under GCQ such as Cavite and Iloilo City.
Pointing his thoughts further, Governor Remulla said that he is not contradicting the back-riding policy of the government for motorcycles. Instead, what he was trying to say is that this policy alone has been restraining many employees from returning to work.
Para sa marami, ang polisiyang ito lamang ang humahadlang para sila ay makabalik sa trabaho.”
In Translation: For the benefit of the majority of people, this policy is the reason why some are not able to go back to their respective jobs.
Different From Metro Manila
Their appeal to allow back-riding on motorcycles is, according to them, allowable because their situations are different from that of the situation in the Metro. In fact, the Iloilo Mayor said that their situation is far from what Metro Manila is currently under in; and that the quantity of authorized public utility vehicles is not enough to provide transport to the bulk of commuters or workers who are reporting to work on a daily basis.
It bears to emphasize that physical distancing among members of a family or persons is almost improbable because they are living in the same household. Thus, it would be more convenient, economical, and practical for families to back ride on their family member’s motorcycles when going out of their homes either to work or to buy essential goods provided that safety precautions are observed.”
These petitions from Remulla and Treñas were the same from what the three (3) Mayors of the Cebu province appealed for back in March. However, it was slammed by the task force for the same reason.
What do you think about the appeals of city leaders to allow back-riding on motorcycles for people living under the same roof?