For many motorcycle riders, especially those coming from Metro Manila, the City of Baguio is perhaps the ultimate riding destination, thanks to its fine cool weather and challenging riding distance from NCR.
If you or your riding group is planning on going to Baguio, here’s a little heads up for you: wear a reflective vest or face a fine of up to PHP 1,500 including community service which could jeopardize your vacation.
Photo courtesy of PNP chief PGen. Dionard Carlos
Just recently, the Province of Benguet – where Baguio City sits – passed Provincial Ordinance No. 2022-302 which requires ALL riders of motorcycles, bicycles, tricycles, and electric bikes, to wear a reflective vest for better visibility at all times. The new ordinance is already in effect as of May 23, 2022.
“All drivers, riders, and back riders of motorcycle, tricycle, e-bike, and bicycle shall wear a high visibility vest while traveling, whether long or short drives/trips, along the provincial, municipal, and barangay roads within the Province of Benguet and along the national highway within the territorial jurisdiction of the province on a 24 hours duration,” said Section 3 of the ordinance.
The new ordinance does not discriminate if you’re a local, tourist or just passing through their jurisdiction and penalizes all riders who are not in compliance.
For the first offense, the penalty for not wearing a reflectorized vest is PHP 500.00, the second offense warrants a PHP 1,000.00 penalty while the third offense will land you a PHP 1,500.00 penalty or a 3-day community service at the concerned barangay where you were apprehended.
Motorcycle Rights Organization (MRO), which has been fighting for rider’s rights for more than a decade now, says that this new ordinance is discriminatory in nature.
According to Jobert Bolanos of MRO, the new provincial ordinance is discriminatory because 1) it only covers and penalizes 2-wheel owners; 2) the new mandate covers all who enter the Province of Benguet even without a national information campaign; 3) Subjective in nature and that 4) stakeholders were not consulted prior to the passing of the new ordinance.
The group added that they will be sending a position paper to the provincial government of Benguet.