NTF allows motorcycle back-riding in MECQ areas
The National Task Force Against COVID-19 has allowed motorcycle pillion riding in Metro Manila, Laguna, Rizal, Cavite and Bulacan and lifted some restrictions for back-riding to make up for the prohibition of public transportation under the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) status, the Joint Task Force COVID Shield said on Tuesday.
Police Lt. General Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, commander of the JTF COVID Shield, said this is expected to address transportation concerns of people who would be allowed to go out and work, particularly medical frontliners and other essential workers classified as Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR).
“Since public transportation is not allowed in Metro Manila and the four provinces under MECQ from August 4 to August 18, motorcycle back-riding will be an essential mode of transportation to ensure that no frontliners and other essential workers would be stranded as they go out to report to work and on their way back home,” said Eleazar.
Under the guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID), the use of bicycles and motorcycles are encouraged during the MECQ.
Interior and Local Government Eduardo Año, also the vice chairman of the NTF Against COVID-19, stressed the need to have a barrier that would separate the driver and the back rider, especially as some rules on pillion riding were relaxed.
Año said the decision to lift the rule that limits pillion riding to married couples and live-in partners should be done without compromising minimum health safety standard protocols.
“As per SILG Año, motorcycle back-riding will be allowed under MECQ and the rule now states that any person, for as long as they are considered as APOR and especially if the back riders are medical frontliners and other essential workers, is allowed for pillion riding,” said Eleazar.
Eleazar said people who just want to avail of essential goods and other services outside their communities will not be allowed to back ride since they are not considered APOR or essential workers.
In coordination with Philippine National Police Chief General Archie Francisco Gamboa, the PNP director for operations and JTF COVID Shield vice commander, Major General Emmanuel Luis Licup has released a memorandum to all police chiefs in the National Capital Region and the four provinces under the MECQ on how the guidelines for pillion should be implemented.
Eleazar said that based on the PNP guidelines, motorcycle back-riding will be allowed under the following conditions:
1. The backrider/passenger is an essential worker or APOR and the travel is work-related even if the driver and the passenger are not related;
2. The driver is equipped or the motorcycle is installed with the prescribed barrier; and
3. The motorcycle is privately-owned, is not for hire and was not hired during the trip.
Eleazar said all motorcycle driver and passenger must present to policemen manning the Quarantine Control Points an identification card and other documents showing they are essential workers and APOR and travel is work-related.
Eleazar earlier said that more checkpoints will be set up in areas under MECQ, particularly at the boundaries of cities and municipalities.
“We hope that this will help our medical workers and other frontliners a lot the entire MECQ period, and we also ask motorcycle riders to follow the guidelines to ensure their smooth and safe travel,” said Eleazar. JTF COVID Shield