Cavite Governor, Jonvic Remulla, has announced through his official social media page that he was denied twice by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to allow backriding (pillion riding) provided both are from the same household.
“Sinubukan ko pong makipanayam sa IATF ngunit dalawang beses na ako tinaggihan. Pasensya na po. Sinubukan ko ipaglaban ang gusto ninyo pero nabigo (I tried to ask the IATF to allow backriding but was denied twice. My apologies. I raised your concerns and wishes but was refused).
Last week, the governor promised Caviteños that he will forward their wish to allow pillion riding for residents from the same household to the IATF-EID. The move is hoped to make commuting a lot easier for many, considering that public transport will run at a reduced capacity and may cause delays when the quarantine is downgraded. A suggestion to incorporate a “couple's pass,” which will be obtained and certified by the barangay captain was also raised.
“Kung may social distancing sa PUJ, PUB, at tricycle, ay mahihirapan ang napakarami. Para makagaan, imumunkahi ko sa IATF na payagan ang ankas kung ang nakasakay ay nakatira sa isang tahanan (With social distancing implemented on public jeepneys, buses, and tricycles, a lot will have a hard time commuting. To help ease their burden, I will suggest to the IATF to allow pillion riding on motorcycles as long as they're from the same household).”
The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) this week, through General Manager, Jojo Garcia, has also backed the stand of the IATF-EID against pillion riding. According to Garcia, if allowed, pillion riding could be abused by some. The MMDA chief argued checking each and every rider if they are from the same household could cause bottlenecks at checkpoints. The MMDA would prefer to prohibit it altogether and focus on enforcing other aspects of the quarantine.
“Kaya po hindi na pinayagan yung angkas, kasi inaabuso (That's why pillion riding was altogether prohibited because it is going to be abused).”
The Department of Transportation (DOTr), also echoes this stand of prohibiting pillion riding as part of the government's social distancing protocols. The DOTr reiterated that the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary, Eduardo Año's answer applies to the issue of motorcycles as well to avoid an enforcement nightmare. “I don't want the PNP and the AFP to check 100,000 tricycles every moment just to check who's riding. I'd rather have them focus their efforts on keeping people staying at home.”