Last month, MotoPinas.com published a story about Greenwoods Executive Village in Cainta that forces non-resident motorcycle riders to surrender their helmets in accordance with the homeowners' association's security policy. Over the weekend, we learned from our readers that there's a town in Northern Samar that not only prohibits any motorcycle rider from wearing their safety crash helmets, but also imposes penalties of up to 6 years imprisonment for violating their anti-helmet ordinance.

A town in N.Samar imposes jail time for riders wearing their helmets imageSource: MRO FB page

Under the Municipal Ordinance No. 12s, series of 2014 or the “Ordinance prohibiting the use of motorcycle helmets, devices, instruments, gadgets, clothing or any other materials that covers the face or conceal the identity of the wearer, prescribing penalties for violation thereof,” there shall be “no concealing of identity within the Municipality of San Roque,” and that, penalties range from 4 years, 2 months and 1 day up to 6 years imprisonment; plus, PhP2,500 fine; Or, pay the fine plus 26 weeks (6 months) community service.

A town in N.Samar imposes jail time for riders wearing their helmets imageCopy of San Roque Municipal Ordinance No. 12, series of 2014 (2nd page).

While this may have been enacted with the best intentions for their local citizenry from the municipal council with the primary objective of deterring riding-in-tandem criminals, motorcycle groups, particularly the Motorcycle Rights Organization, has expressed concern over the ordinance. It asking the municipality why it is putting the safety of the innocent at risk rather than enacting measures that go after the criminals.

A town in N.Samar imposes jail time for riders wearing their helmets imageDILG memorandum dated September 6, 2017.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on September 6, 2017 has issued a memorandum to all Local Government Units (LGU) from the Provincial Government down to Barangay units, to uphold and observe the provisions of the Republic Act 10054 or the Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009 amid reports that some LGUs are enacting local ordinances that go against the said Republic Act.

A town in N.Samar imposes jail time for riders wearing their helmets imageA concerned citizen sent us this picture. Allegedly, the town of Guagua in Pampanga also prohibits motorcycle riders from wearing their safety crash helmets.

To clarify the ongoing issues with the ordinance, San Roque Municipal Mayor Don Abalon will hold a press briefing today, November 18 at 2 PM.