Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, Commander of the JTF COVID Shield, has recently confirmed that motorcycle riders and their pillion (backrider) can wear any type of motorcycle safety helmet, as long as it has a visor that covers the whole face.
This announcement was shared by the motorcycle group, Riders of the Philippines (ROTP) through a statement. According to ROTP, the JTF commander has made the clarification after member groups have submitted a letter thanking the joint task force for scrapping the previously required barrier shield for riders and their pillions that live in the same household.
Lt. Gen. Eleazar, has then clarified that “under the new guidelines approved by the NTF on COVID-19, motorcycle riders and their backriders are required to use at least HELMETS WITH FULL FACE VISOR, that must be worn all the time with face masks by the riders and backriders.”
In the same letter, the ROTP – which is composed of various motorcycle-riding groups from different parts of the country – has also expressed the group’s intention to assist the government in the enforcement of the new pillion riding rules as the group welcomed the decision of the NTF on COVID-19 of allowing motorcycle backriding without barriers for people living in the same household.
“In appreciation of this effort, our groups will take part in the Operation Habal Watch and report them [offenders] to avoid the abuse of this decision and to protect the riding public,” the ROTP said in a statement.
“Again, we are extending our gratitude and would like to let you know that we are here to work with you for as long as it benefits both sides and does not undermine safety,” the group added.
PNP chief, Police Gen. Archie Gamboa has already instructed all police commanders to make sure that the new rules on motorcycle backriding are disseminated to the PNP personnel manning the Quarantine Control Points (QCPs) across the country.
“The fight against COVID-19 cannot be won by the government alone. The government needs all the assistance and cooperation of as many people and groups for the protection of everybody, for the protection of our country. We are elated that big groups like the Riders of the Philippines have put their words into action by lending their help in one of the important measures to protect the public from the coronavirus. We really appreciate it,” Eleazar added.
Backride shield still required
On the other hand, the JTF has reiterated that those who will ferry essential workers such as medical frontliners and do not live in the same household are still required to have a backride shield in between the rider and pillion.
Also, the rider may or may not be an Authorized Person Outside of Residence (APOR), but any travel must be intended to transport or fetch the APORs from their workplaces and bring back home, particularly the medical frontliners.