JTF COVID Shield chief, Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, announced that backriding will still be allowed in MECQ areas as long as the backrider is an essential worker. This is welcome news after the announcement of MECQ and the subsequent prohibition of backriding once again.
“Nagbigay po ng guideline ang NTF (National Task Force) through secretary Delfin Lorenzana and secretary Eduardo Año na papayagan na po under MECQ yun pong backriding dahil nga suspended ang public transport (the NTF already gave a guideline through sec. Lorenzana and sec. Año that backriding will be allowed in MECQ areas since mass transportation is suspended) ,” said Eleazar during an interview with GMA.
The JTF chief added that the rider and his or her passenger does not need to be a spouse or live-in partner, as long as the pillion is an essential worker or Authorized Person Outside of Residence (APOR). Eleazar reminded that the motorcycle should be equipped with the required backrider shield and is a privately-owned one and not for hire, like a motorcycle taxi.
The JTF chief has also confirmed that the motorcycle driver who’s transporting the essential worker doesn’t need to be an APOR, in consideration of the limited transportation options available for essential workers.
“Regardless kung APOR o di APOR ang maghahatid sa kaniya, puwede na rin po 'yun. Iko-consider na rin po 'yun. (Regardless if the motorcycle driver is APOR or non-APOR, that will be allowed. It will be considered).”
While this consideration is well appreciated, we advise our readers to exercise caution and carefully consider their routes. While the motorcycle driver will likely be allowed through checkpoints with an essential worker onboard, it doesn't quite cover the dilemma of the non-APOR motorcycle driver for his return trip home, or on his way to fetch the essential worker. Should he / she run into a checkpoint without the passenger it may be difficult to explain to the personnel at the checkpoint why they are out of their home. Unfortunately, the JTF chief has not brought up the procedure for this situation.