The Philippine National Police’s Highway Patrol Group (HPG) is hoping to amend Republic Act 10054 or the Motorcycle Helmet Act to require open face or half-faced helmets for riders of motorcycles under 400cc.

The move is intended to more easily identify riders and suspects.

“If they will wear half-faced helmets, we can easily see the face of the driver,” said HPG spokesperson, Senior Inspector Jem Dellantes in a press conference.

Dellantes noted that perpetrators of riding-in-tandem and similar motorcycle-related crimes typically use motorcycles under 400cc in displacement. The proposal is part of PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa’s directive to reduce address the growing number of riding in tandem crimes as directed by President Rodrigo Duterte.

The PNP-HPG cited motorcycles under 400cc being the choice vehicle for perpetrators owing to their high speed, small size and maneuverability in traffic.

On the other hand, riders of motorcycles with displacements above 400cc can continue to wear full-face helmets. The PNP-HPG noted that these larger motorcycles have a harder time squeezing through side streets.

Meanwhile, several motorcycle safety advocacy groups have voiced their protest over the proposal citing the higher risk to riders this new amendment may bring.

The PNP-HPG has submitted its position paper to the House of Representatives. Congress has yet to make a statement regarding the matter.

Besides the proposed amendment, the PNP-HPG is coordinating with motorcycle clubs to report criminals using motorcycles or vehicles, as well as with local police forces to prevent crimes involving motorcycle-riding assailants.