The commander of the Joint Task Force COVID Shield, Police Lt. General, Guillermo Eleazar, has reported that 7,091 motorcycle riders with pillions (backrider) throughout the country were caught violating backriding protocols.
Many of the violators caught were not married or live-in couples. Instead they were found to be friends, neighbors, or other relatives. Eleazar said that, of the 7,091 accosted violators, 6,476 were not only couples, but also didn't have the backrider shield installed. On the other hand, 615 did have barriers, but were not a married couple or live-in partners.
“For a long time, motorcycle riders had repeatedly requested the government to allow at least their partners to back-ride with them due to limited public transportation. And now that the government finally granted their request, they openly and brazenly disregarded the rules that the government was asking from them in return to ensure their safety from coronavirus infection,” said Eleazar in a statement.
“Let us allow the government to slowly implement these rules in order to ensure that everybody would comply and at the same time, for our law enforcers on the ground not to be overwhelmed by the large number of violators which was actually recorded in just a few days after pillion riding was allowed,” Eleazar said.
July 26, 2020 deadline
On Saturday, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) secretary, Eduardo Año, announced that, beginning July 27, authorities will begin issuing citation tickets to erring rider-couples for not following the new backride shield protocol. That means, couples who wish to ride together have until July 26, 2020 to buy or fabricate and install a backrider shield with a design similar to that approved by the government.
Source: Philippine News Agency
Main photo is a September 2019 file photo