MMDA says pillion riding could be abused

The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is holding firm to its stance against allowing backriding on motorcycles, whether during enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) or the more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ).

In the ongoing hearing of the Senate Committee on Public Services, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) general manager, Jojo Garcia, said that it will be impossible to check every backrider if they are from the same household as the rider. It is just impossible to check from the enforcement standpoint. It may also be prone to abuse by some individuals. We talked about one such case like this habal-habal pretending to be a couple caught by EDSA boss, Bong Nebrija, and his team.

Hindi naman pwede na lahat ng may angkas ay iisa-isahin ng mga enforcer (It's just impossible for our enforcers to check all riders with a pillion one-by-one),” said Garcia. He further added that, if it will be allowed, it will be an added burden to the enforcers. In addition, it may be abused by some individuals, claiming to be from the same household even if they aren't.

Kaya po hindi na pinayagan yung angkas, kasi inaabuso (That's why pillion riding was altogether prohibited because it is going to be abused).”

Just last week, Cavite governor, Jonvic Remulla promised to suggest allowing pillions or backriding on motorcycles to the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID). The condition was that both rider and backrider should be from the same household.

Napansin ko na pag magbukas ang ekonomiya, ang service ng karamihan ay singol (single motorcycle) na ankas ang kanilang minamahal (I have noticed that, once the economy reopens, the primary mode of transportation for many is a single motorcycle with their loved ones as pillion).

The governor explained 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.

The Transport Network Vehicle Services (TNVS), on the other hand, will be allowed to ferry passengers starting May 16, as long as the social-distancing guidelines set by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) are followed. Among the requirements are reduced passenger capacity and the installation of a see-through non-permeable barrier between the driver and passengers, to name a few.