Malacañan retracted its earlier statement that tricycles are now allowed on national highways. It clarified that tricycles remain prohibited along national highways.
In a press briefing earlier today, Presidential Spokesperson, Harry Roque, said that a new policy in place now allows motorcycles with sidecars to travel on national highways.
“Regarding the issue on tricycles/those similarly situated, Interior Secretary, Eduardo Año, clarified that although apprehension from the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) is temporarily suspended, such are still prohibited from traversing the national highways,” said Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque in a statement.
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary and Spokesperson, Jonathan Malaya, issued a statement after conferring with Secretary Eduardo Año, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, and DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade.
“Nililinaw po ng DILG na bawal pa rin ang tricycles at pedicabs sa national highways kahit pa nasa GCQ o MGCQ level na ang ilang lokalidad. Bago pa man magsimula ang pandemya ng COVID-19 corona ay ipinagbabawal na ito ng batas para na rin sa kaligtasan ng publiko. (The DILG wishes to clarify that tricycles and pedicabs are still banned on national highways, even in areas under GCQ and MGCQ. Even before the pandemic, these vehicles were already banned on these roads for the public’s safety.),” he said.
The DILG has only suspended its Road Clearing Operation 2.0 because of the risks posed by the virus. The prohibition on tricycles and pedicabs are provided by law and cannot be suspended by the DILG.
On top of Republic Act No. 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, prior DILG directives – DILG Memorandum Circulars (MCs) 2020-036, 2020-004, 2011-68, and 2007-11 – have already been issued prohibiting the operation of tricycles and pedicabs on national roads and prescribing the operating conditions and franchising of tricycles.
LGUs are charged with regulating the operation of tricycles and pedicabs in secondary roads. However, mayors may not give authorization for their citizens to backride in GCQ and MGCQ localities in line with the directive of the IATF-EID.
The announcement came just days after Año suggested motorcycle riders attach sidecars to their bikes in order to carry an additional passenger in lieu of the current ban on backriding.