Yesterday, during a press briefing at the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority office in Makati, MMDA General Manager, Jose Arturo 'Jojo' Garcia told reporters that the agency is looking to penalize motorcycle riders, including pillions, who wear shorts when riding their motorcycles. "The motorcycle's engine is hot, including the exhaust pipe, and if the [rider] person did not wear socks or what, their skin might get burned and may cause an accident,” he said. The MMDA GM said that their office met with their counterparts in the LTO to recommend the creation of laws and policies concerning the proper attire for motorcycle riders, among them, the requirement of wearing leather boots and gloves.

“Protective devices shall include: helmets, goggles, leather boots, and protective clothing such as heavy pants, heavy jacket, leather gloves, and rain suit” added GM Garcia.

No more shorts pants while riding motorcycles says MMDA image

MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia

Another anti-rider policy

Motorcycle groups, particularly the Motorcycle Rights Organization or MRO, opposed the MMDA proposal, saying that, although the measure was made with the safety of the motorcycle rider in mind, there are already too many motorcycle laws that exist concerning road safety and only need proper implementation. Examples cited were the Anti Drunk-Driving Law (RA 10586), The Motorcycle Helmet Law, (RA 10054); or the original Land Transportation Traffic Code (RA 4136).

The group also went on to point out that requiring only leather materials for riding boots and gloves would be too expensive to acquire for the average motorcyclist as these come with a premium price tag. The group also argued that the Philippines is a tropical country. As such, wearing heavy pants or jackets for a short stride would be impractical. The proposal and its implementation may be another source for corruption on street level, with riders offering or officers requesting bribes to look the other way.

Right now, there are no provisions in the law that prohibit wearing shorts when riding motorcycles. The minimum requirements are only a standard motorcycle helmet and closed-toe footwear. The first offense for failure to wear a standard motorcycle helmet is PhP 1,500, up to the revocation of rider's license on third offense. An improper footwear offense starts at PhP 500 for the first offense up to PhP 1,000 on the third offense.

The MMDA GM also reiterated that all motorcycle riders must turn their headlights on, even during daytime, as per Metro Manila Council resolution 07-06 series of 2007. It can incur a PhP 150 penalty for the first offense, up to suspension of driver's license on 3rd offense.