The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has finally released an official memo outlining the government’s requirements for couples that wish to backride.
In the memo, dated July 15, 2020, it is officially allowing backriding for couples living in the same household provided the following parameters are observed:
- Couples live in the same household (regardless of marital status)
- Can present valid IDs as proof (same address for both)
- A safety barrier shield (backrider shield) is installed between the rider and pillion
- Design must be similar to that approved by IATF
- Both rider and backrider must be wearing of facemasks
- Riders shall wear the proper minimum riding gear (helmet and closed-toe footwear)
The local government units (LGUs) are tasked to monitor the implementation of this new motorcycle backriding riding policy with the help of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
The majority of the riding community still oppose the idea of putting a barrier between the rider and pillion, since they live in the same household. And as such, there's no need to install a barrier as they are regularly exposed to each other. Motorcycle safety experts have already pointed out that not only is it unsafe, it is also an unnecessary cost to the rider.
Some lawmakers have already questioned this new requirement. Senator Ralph Recto had asked on July 11, “What’s the use of a barrier when couples hold hands in going to the motorcycle, and kiss each other goodbye after the ride?” He also urged the concerned agencies to do test runs and workshop reviews by experts before imposing the new policy.