Gov. Dan Fernando of Bulacan says no backride just proposal

Gusto ko lang klaruhin na ako po'y nagtatrabaho lang, (I just want to clarify that I'm only doing my job)” – that was the statement of Bulacan governor, Dan Fernando, after his speech about the proposed banning of pillion riding in the province of Bulacan received widespread backlash from the motorcycle community, as well as from Bulacan citizens themselves.

The governor further added in Filipino that the provincial council was merely studying the proposal, which doesn't mean that it is already implemented. “I don't see the possibility of this [banning of pillion] from happening, I'm only looking at the aspect of it.”

While the governor admitted that the idea only came as a possible solution to curb crime perpetrated by riding-in-tandem criminals, he understands that motorcycles are a big part of the daily lives of the people, riding them to fetch wives, children and many more.

So far, only Mandaluyong City has banned pillion riding with certain exceptions here in the country. In 2014, the city enacted Ordinance No. 550, S-2014 or the “Ordinance Regulating Motorcycle Riding-in-Tandem in Mandaluyong City”. This ordinance is extended perpetually by the passing of City Ordinance No. 694, S-2018. Penalties are: P1,000 for the first offense, P2,000 for the second offense and P3,000 for the third offense for both the rider and back (pillion) rider that may include 3 months jail time.

Last April however, a Metropolitan Trial Court in Mandaluyong City has dismissed a particular Motorcycle Riding-in-Tandem case for lack of legal basis. According to the court decision, during the arraignment proceedings, the court's re-examination revealed that the “apprehending officer is not among the agents deputized or authorized to enforce the alleged ordinance violated (i.e. C.O. 595) under any of the ordinances numbers 705 S-2018, 629 S-2016, and/ or 599 S-2015 which were enacted by the City Council for the purpose of implementing ordinance no. 595.”

Under the ordinances mentioned above, only Barangay Officials and its tanods (local law enforcers) are authorized to enforce the city's riding-in-tandem ordinance. Additionally, only PNP personnel assigned in the area of Mandaluyong City have the responsibility and capability to enforce the ordinance and issue tickets and penalties.