Various motorcycle riders and groups have voiced their outrage on social media lately over a photo of a tarpaulin put up in the town of San Miguel, Iloilo by their local PNP. Printed on the tarpaulin was a reminder to all motorcycle riders to always follow the new motorcycle pillion riding protocols set by the DILG, which includes the installation of a barrier between the motorcycle rider and his or her pillion.
The tarpaulin also warned would-be violators that they risk being fined up to PhP30,000 or face six months of imprisonment if caught backriding without the backrider shield. San Miguel PNP has clarified that it will not be an automatic penalty.
“Hindi yun na pag-apprehend sa iyo, automatic na mag-multa ka. (You won't be automatically fined once apprehended.)” said one of the PNP personnel we interviewed who requested to remain anonymous.
The PNP personnel further clarified that the penalties were based on Republic Act 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act of 2019.
“Nakalagay doon na, once you violate that, pwede ka sampahan ng kaso ayon sa RA 11332. (It is outlined there that, once you violate the law, you can be penalized according to RA 11332)” said the PNP pesonnel.
RA 11332 aims to establish effective mechanisms for strong collaboration with national and local government health agencies to ensure proper procedures are in place to promptly respond to reports of notifiable diseases and health events of public health concern, including case investigations, treatment, and control and containment, including follow-up activities.
Nothing to be worried about... for now
There’s some good news, however. According to the PNP personnel we’ve spoken with, due to the lack of existing guidelines, they will not yet implement the rule and have since taken down the tarpaulin containing the warning.
The San Miguel, Iloilo PNP also reminds motorcycle riders that they are 100% in full support when it comes to rider safety. This includes following what’s currently prescribed by the government concerning the new backriding policy, while practicing the minimum health safety standards set by the Department of Health