Checking each motorcycle rider and their pillion (backride) one-by-one could make enforcement in the frontlines more complicated than it is now.

The sentiment was expressed by Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary, Arthur Tugade, in a virtual press briefing the other day..He echoed the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary, Eduardo Año's earlier statement that checking each motorcycle rider and their pillion (backride) one-by-one to make sure they are from the same household could cause more problems.

Sa aking pananaw na personal, yung backride ng mag-asawa – ang malaking issue ho diyan ay enforcement (From my personal perspective, for couples pillion riding – the big issue will be enforcement).”


DOTr on backriding: the issue is enforcement image

Earlier in the week, PNP top-brass, Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, commander of the Joint Task Force COVID Shield, was firm on their stand of not allowing pillion riding, even for couples from the same household, even as the National Capital Region downgrades into the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) today, Monday, June 1

Una, violation talaga sa physical distancing at siguro po wine-weigh nila ang pros and cons. At sa ngayon, hindi pa po puwede [ang backriding]. (First of all, it's a violation of physical distancing. They're weighing the pros and cons. For now, It is not allowed.)”

The general also went as far as emphasizing that even members of the police force should follow social-distancing protocols, and that means they too are not allowed to have a backride on a motorcycle during GCQ.

Kahit pulis hindi po puwede ang angkasan. (Even police officers cannot have backrides).”

Earlier this month, Cavite Governor, Jonvic Remulla has suggested to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to allow pillion riding among couples, explaining that, once social distancing is made the “new normal” on all public utility vehicles (PUVs), many workers may find it difficult to commute due to the reduced capacity of these PUVs. To ease commuters' worries, he suggests allowing pillion riding as a possible solution. He was denied by the IATF-EID.

Kaya ngayon, at this time po, hindi pa ho ina-allow ng DOTr yung backride sa motorsiklo kesyo mag-asawa o hinde 'pagkat kailangan po i-maintain natin yung tinatawag na social distancing at kailangan ho ma-assure natin yung tinatawag na efficiency of enforcement (That's why, at this time, the DOTr does not allow backriding on motorcycles whether as a couple or not because we need to maintain social-distancing and we need to assure the efficiency of enforcement [by our law enforcement officers]),” added Tugade.