Backriding or riding pillion on a motorcycle may finally be allowed. Presidential Spokesperson, Harry Roque, made the announcement today, June 20, 2020, during the regular Laging Handa briefing. The activity may finally be allowed pending rules to be issued by a special technical working group.
That technical working group is composed of the Department of Transportation, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Health, Department of Trade and Industry, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, and Bureau of Philippine Standards.
Up until this point, backriding on motorcycles has been prohibited due to the inability to practice social distancing on motorcycles, where the rider and passenger will have to sit close to one another.
Several public and private groups have pleaded with the IATF-EID to allow relent on this prohibition, particularly for individuals from the same household. Many government agencies have countered this. The MMDA, for one, has said that allowing it could be an enforcement nightmare. Governort Arthur Yap from Bohol has suggested the use of a non-permeable plastic barrier to prevent the transmission of the disease. Motorcycle taxi app, Angkas, had presented their proposal for a wearable shield yesterday, in a bid to encourage the government to allow motorcycle taxis to operate again.
We advice the public NOT to begin backriding until an official announcement is made by the IATF-EID itself.
A few weeks ago, Roque said that tricycles will be allowed to operate on national highways. Unfortunately, this was quickly dismissed by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), saying the ban on tricycles on national highways is still in effect.