Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia is glad that the backriding policy on motorcycles have been considered positively by the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).
Starting tomorrow, July 10, pillion riding, locally referred to as backriding, is already allowed in general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) areas in the country.
However, the governor still awaits the guidelines to be able to ensure its faithful implementation in Cebu Province which is under MGCQ and the cities of Mandaue and Talisay and towns of Minglanilla and Consolacion which remain under GCQ.
“I am happy that it is considered by the IATF and DILG Secretary (Eduardo) Año,” Garcia expressed in her virtual presser today, July 9.
She pointed out that this is “the cry of so many households in the Province wherein the only means of transportation is the motorcycle.”
In a recent IATF issuance, pillion riding is allowed but only to married couples. They are to present a certified copy of their marriage contract at checkpoints.
As for non-married couples or common-law couples, they will be required to present proof that they share the same address or are living in the same household. Couples are also required to present identification cards (IDs).
The prototype model submitted by Bohol Governor Arthur Yap which aims to protect the motorcycle driver and passenger was also approved by the National Task Force.
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Sec. Año, vice chairman of the IATF-MEID, said that “starting tomorrow (July 10) motorcycle backriding for couples is allowed and the prototype model approved is the one submitted by Governor Yap.”
The prototype has dividers and handles between the riders. They will continue to observe the mandatory safety health protocols such as wearing of face mask and crash helmet.
Earlier, Garcia assured Cebuanos that she has not given up on her position to allow “backriding” on motorcycles in the Province of Cebu, even as she recalled her executive order in deference to President Rodrigo Duterte.
To recall, Section 1 of Executive Order No. 19 Garcia issued on the backriding policy states that both riders must wear helmets approved by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) under Republic Act 10054 “mandating all motorcycle riders to wear standard protective motorcycle helmets while driving and providing penalties thereof.”
It was found out that RA 4136, otherwise known as the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, does not prohibit the use of private motorcycles to transport people provided that the rider is a relative by consanguinity or affinity within the fourth civil degree to the owner and shall not be used to solicit, accept or be used to transport passengers or freight for pay.
Garcia has always been sensitive to the demand of constituents as regard to pillion riding. She is fully aware that a number of households in the Province depends on motorcycles for their travel to work, to secure basic goods, and for emergency purposes under community quarantine.
Cebu Provincial Board Member Atty. John Ismael “Jimbo” Borgonia of Cebu’s third district, author of an ordinance set to adopt the governor’s EO 19, said that once the President reconsiders, he will refile the ordinance. (Eleanor Valeros)