Mandaluyong City may so far have the strictest motorcycle-related ordinance in the country, yet one man dared to challenge it in court.
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.
To summarize, it prohibits riding any male from riding pillion (passenger) on two-wheeled motorcycles within the city limits, unless he is a first-degree relative e.g.: son or father or a child between 7-10 years of age. Should the rider and back rider fail to prove that they are related in the first degree of consanguinity, they will be brought to the PNP Criminal Investigation Unit for further investigation and verification. Exemptions to this rule are female passengers of male riders or female passengers of female riders. The ordinance was enacted to prevent crimes, such as theft, mugging or murder, perpetrated by male suspects riding in tandem on motorcycles.
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 this 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.
This means that NOT ALL Mandaluyong City traffic enforcers are authorized to enforce the said ordinance. The Motorcycle Rights Organization (MRO) has said in a statement, that they are inviting all motorcycle riders and their back riders who were “wrongfully apprehended” to help them file the appropriate legal action. Also, the MRO added that signing the OVR or Ordinance Violation Receipt does not mean full admission to any traffic violation, it just means that the rider or driver has received his copy and understands why he was apprehended. It can still be presented to the proper court or adjudication office to be contested.